The police escorted defendant Đinh La Thăng to the trial on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn
HÀ NỘI — The People’s Court of Hà Nội on Monday opened the first-instance trial into alleged violations of regulations on investment in construction works, causing serious consequences at the Phú Thọ ethanol plant in the northern province of the same name.
There are 12 defendants in the case, including former Politburo member and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) Đinh La Thăng; former Chairman of the Board of Directors and former General Director of the PetroVietnam Construction JSC (PVC) Trịnh Xuân Thanh; and several former executives of PetroVietnam, PVC and the PetroVietnam PetroChemicals and Biofuel JSC (PVB).
Trịnh Xuân Thanh has been charged with “violating regulations on investment in construction works, causing serious consequences” under Article 224, Clause 3 of the Penal Code 2015, and “abusing position and power while performing duties” under Article 356, Clause 3.
Thăng, meanwhile, has been accused of “violating regulations on investment in construction works, causing serious consequences.”
30 lawyers will represent 12 defendants during the 10-day trial. Thăng has three lawyers, Thanh has four, while Vũ Thanh Hà has the largest number of lawyers defending him at 6.
According to the indictment, Thăng signed a resolution to approve the investment in the Phú Thọ ethanol project in October 2007. With Thanh’s support, PVC/Alfa Laval/Delta-T joint contractors, who had no previous experience in carrying out ethanol projects, were assigned to be in charge of the project.
As a result, the project was continuously behind schedule and stopped in March 2013 with no construction items completed.
The wrongdoings of the defendants were said to cause a loss of more than VNĐ543 billion (US$23.49 million). — VNS