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Appeal trial opens for ship scandal executives

Update: October, 11/2019 - 09:00

 

The defendants appear in court on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tuấn

HÀ NỘI — Four shipping executives jailed for abuse of power have begun appeals against their convictions.

The Hà Nội-based High-level People’s Court on Thursday opened the case. The Hà Nội People’s Procuracy want the four to pay back more money, and the defendants are asking for a reduction in their sentences.

In June, the Hà Nội People’s Court sentenced four former leaders of State-run Vietnam Shipping Industry Corporation (Vinashin), now the Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (SBIC) for abusing their positions and power to appropriate assets at the first instance trial in Hà Nội.

Nguyễn Ngọc Sự, former chairman of Vinashin’s member council was sentenced to 13 years.

Trần Đức Chính, ex-chief accountant, was sentenced 17 years while former general director Trương Văn Tuyến and former deputy general director Phạm Thanh Sơn were jailed for seven and six years, respectively.

In addition to the prison sentence, the court also requested the defendants to pay back the money they illegally appropriated.

Following the trial, the Hà Nội People’s Procuracy filed appeals to increase punishment for Sự. It also asked for the defendants to pay back additional of VNĐ14.8 billion (US$640,000).

Sự and Tuyến asked for reduced sentences. However, Sự then withdrew the petition before the appeal opened.

Sơn said the sentence was too heavy and that it was wrong to ask him to payback VNĐ4.5 billion.

Chính asked for an appeal for the whole sentence.

From 2008 to 2010, Vinashin encountered many difficulties and was on the verge of bankruptcy, prompting the Party and State to restructure the group.

Vinashin received VNĐ2.2 trillion ($94.8 million) from the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group and VNĐ4.19 trillion from the Central Corporate Restructuring and Supporting Fund.

According to the trial’s indictment, the four defendants agreed to make fixed-term deposits at OceanBank to gain extra interest that was not stated in deposit contracts.

Investigators found that from 2010 to June 2014, Vinashin made more than 2,300 fixed-term deposits totalling nearly VNĐ104 trillion ($4.45 billion) and some $181 million with OceanBank.

From March 2011 to August 2014, Chính received more than VNĐ105 billion ($4.5 million) in extra interest from OceanBank. As agreed by the four, Chính was assigned to receive and manage the extra interest which was used for the firm’s activities and divided up among them.

Sự initiated the depositing, signed 12 deposit contracts and pocketed VNĐ8 billion himself. Authorised by Tuyến, Chính also signed many deposit contracts at OceanBank and appropriated VNĐ10 billion, while Tuyến pocketed VNĐ3.5 billion and Sơn bagged VNĐ1.2 billion.

The appeal is expected to end today and the sentences will be announced on Monday. — VNS

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