|A large tree is chopped by loggers in central Bình Định Province. – VNA/VNS Photo Nguyên Linh|
BÌNH ĐỊNH — The People’s Court of central Bình Định Province on Thursday delayed the first-instance trial in a large-scale deforestation case in An Lão District last year.
More than 64ha of forest were chopped down.
Nine defendants were required to be present at the court for hearing, but most of them did not turn up.
After considering the opinion of the People’s Procuracy, participating lawyers and defendants, the judging council decided to delay the trial.
According to the indictment of the provincial People’s Procuracy, in July 2017, Lê Văn Thiệt, general director of Thương Thảo Trading and Investment Joint Stock Company, directed Nguyễn Văn Ri, a company official, to cut down trees in zone 1 of An Hưng Commune for planting acacia trees.
Ri hired workers to get the work done, destroying 37.5ha of two forest areas.
Thiệt widened the roads and set up camps to make it easier for the workers and to transport timber to the company.
Seven other defendants, who lived in Hoài Nhơn District’s Hoài Sơn Commune, hired workers and cut down trees in 27ha of forests in An Hưng District.
Damages are estimated at VNĐ4.79 billion (over US$2 million).
Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình asked the Bình Định People’s Committee to investigate the case after the incident was reported by the Việt Nam News Agency in September 2017. — VNS