Trần Văn Minh, former Chairman of Đà Nẵng People's Committee, was escorted by the police to prison Tuesday morning. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — The Hà Nội High-level Court on Tuesday upheld the jail sentence for a former Đà Nẵng City’s leader Trần Văn Minh and real estate mogul Phan Văn Anh Vũ for illicit deals involving State land and property, rejecting their appeal.
Minh served as Chairman of Đà Nẵng People’s Committee in 2006-11 while Văn Hữu Chiến was his successor.
After a week of deliberation, the judging panel concluded Minh and Chiến committed violations in management of State assets and land, causing the “State to lose its control and management as well as usage rights of State land and houses, causing losses worth VNĐ22 trillion (US$945.4 million).”
Minh was jailed for 17 years for the two offences as the court noted his key role in approving the policies that resulted in the transference of the city’s real estate into Phan Văn Anh Vũ’s hands.
Before the court gave its verdict, Minh claimed he was innocent of both charges and expressed his pain at having to appear in court while he and other defendants had made significant contributions to the development of Đà Nẵng City.
Chiến, who the court said had an accomplice role in the affair, received 10 years, down two from the first-instance trial held earlier this year, as he had paid an undisclosed sum of money to the State in a bid to “remedy the damages".
Chiến also stated he and other defendants in the case were not trying to make personal gains but only wanted to build a modern Đà Nẵng before 2020.
Phan Văn Anh Vũ. — VNA/VNS Photo
The panel retained the 17-year imprisonment for Phan Văn Anh Vũ, former Chairman of Bắc Nam construction company, who was the other party in deals with Đà Nẵng’s authorities, also for the two offences of State asset mismanagement and another eight years for land management violations.
Vũ has previously claimed his innocence but the court rejected the plea outright.
The judging panel said Vũ “exploited” his personal connections with the central city’s leaders to ask for reduced prices for the State land and houses, and illegally transferred the use rights of some of the properties into his personal ownership despite the fact that the deals were conducted in the company’s name.
The final sentence for Nguyễn Ngọc Tuấn, former vice chairman of Đà Nẵng People’s Committee and former head of the city’s construction department, was set at three years, down two years compared to the original sentence, also for the two crimes of State asset mismanagement and land management violations. — VNS