|Defendants at the court in Hà Nội on Monday afternoon. VNA/VNS Photo Phạm Kiên|
HÀ NỘI — The People’s Court of Hà Nội sentenced Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng and Lê Quang Hào, two former deputy general directors of Việt Nam Expressway Corporation, to 7 and 6 years in prison respectively for “violating regulations on construction investment, causing serious consequences", on Monday afternoon.
The violations were found in the Đà Nẵng – Quảng Ngãi Expressway project. The first phase of the project was into operation in September 2018, and the road showed signs of damage worth over VNĐ811 billion (US$35 million).
The court also sentenced Hoàng Việt Hưng, former director of the project management board, to 8 years and 6 months in prison for the same crimes.
A further 32 defendants related to the case were given sentences ranging from 22 months on probation, to 5 years and 6 months in prison on the same charges.
Contractors are legally responsible for compensation in cases where the quality of the work does not meet the requirements of the contract. Therefore, the court forced the contractors to jointly compensate the corporation with an amount of more than VNĐ811 billion (US$35 million).
The first-instance judgment concluded that there was much damage on sections of the road (in the first phase of the project), seriously affecting the operation of the expressway and the safety of drivers and passengers.
The assessment showed that the quality of construction works of all seven bidding packages under the first phase of the project did not meet requirements as committed, including the thickness of the asphalt concrete being substandard, and the resin content and the permeability coefficient not meeting specified requirements, the court said.
During the construction and acceptance process, the defendants failed to verify the quality of the bidding packages but still signed acceptance and proposed to put the road into operation.
The court also said the defendant acts were the direct cause of the damages, adversely affecting traffic safety and reducing the life of the road.
“The defendants' behaviours were dangerous to society, violating the provisions of law and causing public concern,” the court said.
“The defendants are people with full criminal responsibility capacity, having positions, roles and responsibilities in construction investment using the State capital, but they did not strictly comply with regulations, leading to serious consequences.”
The Đà Nẵng – Quảng Ngãi Expressway was invested in by the corporation, with a total length of nearly 140km. The first phase of the project, connecting Đà Nẵng City to Tam Kỳ City, with a length of 65km, was officially put into operation in September 2018.
The second phase, with a length of more than 74km, is under construction. — VNS