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Officials go on trial for abuse of power

Update: January, 14/2010 - 14:34

HA NOI — The Ha Noi People’s Court yesterday began the trial of 23 Government officials and others accused of abusing their power on Sate projects.

Vu Dinh Thuan, former deputy head of Government Office and director of Project 112; Luong Cao Son, former secretary of the project; Nguyen Cat Ho, a former senior official; and 20 others were alleged to use their positions to make illegal gains.

The project was launched in 2001 and backed by a capital of VND3.8 trillion (US$236 million).

Its brief was to install integrated software at administrative offices nationwide, train officials, and link all agencies through one shared computer network. However, following financial, technical and legal problems and poor planning, the Government stopped the project.

According to the indictment, Thuan, as the director of the project, signed 129 contracts that violated the State’s regulations and policies.

It was claimed this was done on advice from Son and Ho from 2003-06.

The indictment also said Thuan had violated bidding regulations, causing losses of more than VND4.6 billion ($250,000) including his own appropriation of VND275 million ($15,000), while Son had pocketed more than VND800 million ($44,000).

Of the 23 indicted, 20 were alleged to have abused their position and power in working.

The other three were said to have abused their influence to seek profit.

The trial, chaired by judge Nguyen Huu Chinh, head of the court’s criminal section, is scheduled to last for two weeks. — VNS

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