Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The Judicial Council of HCM City’s high-level People’s Court on Monday morning annulled jail sentences for former leaders of Việt Nam Pharma Company, to serve reinvestigation of the case.
The decision came after an appeal, as the Judicial Court decided the case in the court of first instance which accused the defendants of smuggling and forging documents was not complete and comprehensive.
The Judicial Council has accepted a proposal by the high-level People’s Procuracy and transferred all case files to the procuracy at the same level for re-investigation.
The temporary arrest warrants relating to former VN Pharma chairman of the Board of Directors-cum-general director Nguyễn Minh Hùng and former director of H&C International Marine Trade Company Võ Mạnh Cường are still valid.
The high-level People’s Court has asked for further investigation and clarification of the responsibilities of the Ministry of Health’s Pharmaceutical Management Department for granting licences to VN Pharma and Canadian Helix Pharmaceuticals Inc to import counterfeit cancer medication into Việt Nam.
Previously, on August 25, the HCM City’s People’s Court sentenced Hùng and Cường to 12 years in prison on charges of smuggling and faking documents.
The court also recommended further investigations into several officials at the ministry’s Department of Pharmaceutical Management for failing to detect irregularities in VN Pharma’s import documents.
However, the Supreme People’s Procuracy issued a decision on September 22 asking HCM City People’s Court to revoke its verdict and re-open the trial, citing that a number of issues remained unclear.
Earlier VN Pharma was determined to have forged documents to import 9,300 packages of H-Capita 500mg, a drug used in cancer treatment, from a Canadian company called Helix Pharmaceuticals Inc.
The shipment was licensed by the Ministry of Health’s Department of Pharmaceutical Management in December 2013.
The H-Capita drug imported by VN Pharma was later examined by the Ministry of Health, which concluded that it contained 97 per cent of an active ingredient called capecitabine which was low quality, had no clear origin and cannot be used in treatment. — VNS