|One businessman and 22 provincial officials were charged in the case with "violating regulations on land use," "violating regulations on land management," and "irresponsibility causing serious consequences."— Photo danviet
AN GIANG (VNS) — The People's Court in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang last Friday handed down sentences varying from three years in prison to suspended terms in a land management case that brought 23 people, mostly local officials, to trial.
The land scam happened between 2004 and 2011 in Long Xuyen City, the provincial capital.
One businessman and 22 provincial officials were charged in the case with "violating regulations on land use," "violating regulations on land management," and "irresponsibility causing serious consequences."
The court handed down two-year probations to: Huynh Giang Son, former deputy chairman of Long Xuyen City People's Committee; Ho Dang Chien, ex-deputy chairman of the city People's Committee; Nguyen Thanh Tam, ex-chief of Long Xuyen Urban Management Division; Vo Duy Cuong, chairman of the Long Xuyen Party Committee's inspection division; Tran Thien Tich, ex-Secretary of My Phuoc Ward; and Le Van Huong, Chairman of My Phuoc Ward People's Committe.
Bui Phuoc Dung, former head of the Long Xuyen Land Use Registration Division, was sentenced to three years in prison.
Nine other people - former land registration officials- were sentenced to prison terms equal to the time they were placed in temporary detention.
Nguyen Thien Thanh, former inspector with the Long Xuyen Resources and Environment Division and Ly Thanh Tung, former head of the Administration unit of Long Xuyen Land Use Registration Division, should undergo two years' re-education without detention, the court ordered.
The panel of judges also said criminal proceedings will not be taken against four other defendants.
All the defendants were accused of illegally leveling public land that was used for farming and re-zoning them for urban residences. Next, they illegally established seven residential areas on the land and sold the land plots for their own profit.
According to prosecutors, between 1996 and 2011, developers built 60 residential areas covering 355,035 sq. m in Long Xuyen.
Most of them were, however, built in areas not zoned and approved by authorities and even on agricultural land that were later turned into non-agricultural lands. — VNS