First-instance trial begins for Hà Nội's ex-chairman accused of abusing position and power

December, 10/2021 - 16:16
The People’s Court of Hà Nội today opens a first-instance trial of the case of purchasing the water cleaning agent Redoxy 3C to purify lakes in the city, causing tens of billions of đồng in damage to the State budget. 

 

Ex-chairman of Hà Nội People's Committee, Nguyễn Đức Chung, is on trial for abusing his position and power while performing duties. VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — The People’s Court of Hà Nội has begun the first-instance trial regarding the purchases of the water cleaning agent Redoxy 3C to purify lakes in the city, causing tens of billions of đồng in damage to the State budget. 

The defendants in this case are Nguyễn Đức Chung, former Chairman of Hà Nội People’s Committee; Nguyễn Trường Giang, director of Arktic Trading and Service Co., Ltd., and Võ Tiến Hùng, general director of Hanoi Sewerage and Sewerage One Member Limited Liability Company. They were all prosecuted for “abusing position and power while performing duties”. 

There are 11 lawyers participating in defence for the defendants. Nguyễn Đức Chung has five lawyers while Giang and Hùng three each. 

The Court has summoned a representative of Hà Nội Sewerage Company as a civil plaintiff; a number of staff from the Hà Nội Sewerage and Drainage Company, with related rights and obligations, including representatives of the Hà Nội People’s Committee, representatives of Arktic Trading and Service Co., Ltd and Nguyễn Thị Trúc Chi Hoa (Chung’s wife).

Defendant Nguyễn Đức Chung has previously asked the court to summon all relevant people who attended a working session at Hoàn Kiếm Lake on the afternoon of July 31, 2016. Among them were Nguyễn Thế Hùng (then Vice Chairman of the Hà Nội People's Committee), a number of office staff from the Hà Nội People's Committee, and officials and technical staff of the Hà Nội Sewerage Company. 

Defendant Chung also proposed to summon those involved in the proposal and negotiation of purchasing Redoxy-3C preparations. He asked his lawyer to provide the Court with translations from the audiotape of the meeting between him and other leaders of the Hà Nội People's Committee and the General Director of Watch Water Company (Germany) on the afternoon of June 25, 2016, at the headquarters of the Hà Nội People's Committee, among other documents.

After that, lawyers of Chung asked the court to summon more representatives of the People's Committee of Trúc Bạch Ward and the People's Committee of Thành Công Ward, and the representative of the Office of the Hà Nội City Party Committee. The lawyer said that these two wards were related to the assessment of the effectiveness of lake water cleaning in the area.

The trial panel acknowledged the requests by defendants and lawyers and said during the trial process, they would summon those who deemed to be necessary for the procedures.

According to the indictment, in 2016, the Hà Nội People’s Committee directed relevant units to treat, renovate and tackle water pollution in rivers and lakes in the city by searching for suitable advanced technologies. Defendant Nguyễn Đức Chung, then Chairman of the Hà Nội People’s Committee, chose the polluted water treatment technology of Watch Water Company (Germany), organised a tour to test and ordered the production of Redoxy- 3C for use in the treatment of water pollution in Hà Nội.

Chung then instructed defendant Võ Tiến Hùng to buy Redoxy-3C product through Arktic Company, an intermediary company where Giang acted as the Director - attempting personal profit.

Arktic is wholly invested by Chung’s wife, Nguyễn Thị Trúc Chi Hoa, and has their son, Nguyễn Đức Hạnh, represented in the business registration certificate. Hoa asked another person to represent her family in the ownership of 40 per cent of this firm’s charter capital, while Giang acted as the owner of the remaining 60 per cent. Hoa repeatedly falsified papers to change contributors to this company’s capital.

The procuracy held that the actions by Chung and the others have caused “serious losses”, totalling over VNĐ36 billion (nearly US$1.6 million), to the State.

In December 2020, the Hà Nội People’s Court found Chung guilty of “appropriating confidential state documents” and decided to sentence him to five years in prison. — VNS

E-paper