The People’s Court in HCM City on July 24 resumed the trial of Phạm Công Danh, former chairman of the Việt Nam Construction Bank’s (VNCB) board of directors and former general director of the Thiên Thanh Group. — Photo zing.vn
HCM CITY — The People’s Court in HCM City on July 24 resumed the trial of Phạm Công Danh, former chairman of the Việt Nam Construction Bank’s (VNCB) board of directors and former general director of the Thiên Thanh Group, and other defendants charged with “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management causing severe consequences” at VNCB.
In January, the People’s Court suspended the case involving VNCB, now named the Construction Bank, for further investigation.
On June 20, the Supreme People’s Procuracy provided supplementary documents and transferred the case of Danh, 51, to the People’s Court and confirmed that the results of an additional investigation had not changed the content of the 2017 indictment.
The case involves 46 defendants who were high-level officials at different banks, including VNCB, Sacombank and TPBank. One defendant was absent yesterday due to hospitalisation.
The court summoned more than 200 other people who had related rights and duties, including Trần Bắc Hà, former chairman of BIDV’s board of directors.
However, only around 100 people appeared in court. Of the 100 people who were absent, Hà was absent for medical reasons in Singapore.
Hà said he had arrived in Singapore on July 15, had liver surgery on July 19, and is now receiving treatment there.
Hà said that his previous testimony with the investigation agency could be used at the current trial.
Seventy lawyers are attending the trial, including six lawyers for Danh, and two lawyers for Trầm Bê, Sacombank’s ex-deputy chairman of the board of directors.
In addition, authorised representatives of a number of banks attended the hearing.
According to the indictment issued by the Supreme People’s Procuracy, after the State Bank of Việt Nam approved Trust Bank’s restructuring plan, Danh took over the failing bank and renamed it VNCB.
Danh abused his post as chairman of the VNCB board of directors and chairman of the member’s board of the Thiên Thanh Group by instructing his staff in the group and the bank to commit a range of violations, according to the indictment.
From December 2012 to March 2014, Danh and his accomplices set up false files and committed violations related to the lending regulations of credit institutions.
Danh and the other defendants were accused of using VNCB’s money as collateral to take out loans totalling more than VNĐ6.1 trillion ($262.62 million) at TPBank, Sacombank and BIDV.
The borrowed money, however, was for Danh’s personal use, and he did not repay it.
VNCB was established in May 2014 by Trust Bank which operated for 23 years, with charter capital of VNĐ3 trillion ($129 million).
In mid-2014, the State Bank of Việt Nam appointed new officials to VNCB after several former top executives at the bank were arrested for allegedly violating state regulations.
Apart from VNCB, other commercial banks owned by the SBV were Ocean Bank and GP Bank.
The SBV bought the three banks for “zero đồng” due to their ailing performances and failure to meet required charter capital increases.
Apart from Danh, Trầm Bê was charged with allowing Phan Huy Khang, ex-general director of Sacombank, to give approval for Danh to borrow VNĐ1.8 trillion through Danh’s companies.
The support from Trầm Bê and Phan Huy Khang for Danh contributed to VNCB’s losses, according to the indictment.
Danh and his accomplices caused losses of more than VNĐ15 trillion to VNCB.
The corruption case involves the largest-ever recorded economic loss of any preceding corruption case in the country.
The current trial is chaired by Judge Phạm Lương Toản, Chief Justice of the Criminal Court of the HCM City People’s Court.
The current trial is scheduled to end on August 15. — VNS