|Đinh Ngọc Hệ at the court. — Photo Doãn Tấn|
HÀ NỘI — The Central Military Court yesterday began to hear appeals from Đinh Ngọc Hệ, alias “Út trọc,” and other defendants involved in legal violations at Thái Sơn Corporation under the Ministry of National Defence.
At a trial on July 31, 2018, the military court of Military Zone 7 gave Hệ, former Deputy Director of Thái Sơn Corporation, a jail sentence of ten years for “abusing position and power while performing official duties”, and another two years for “using falsified documents of agencies and organisations.”
Sharing the charge of “abusing position and power while performing official duties,” Trần Văn Lâm, former Director General of Thái Sơn Development and Investment Joint Stock Company (Thái Sơn JSC); Trần Xuân Sơn, former director of Bình Dương branch of Thái Sơn JSC; and Bùi Văn Tiệp, former commander of Division 367 of the Air Defence-Air Force Service, were given sentences of five years behind bars, 18 months’ probation and 24 months’ probation, respectively. Sơn was freed after the trial.
Phùng Danh Thắm, former Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of Thái Sơn Corporation, got a 24-month non-custodial sentence for “lack of responsibility causing serious consequences.”
The defendants were also ordered to pay compensation to the State of VNĐ1.4 billion (US$60,200).
The court concluded that Hệ was honoured with orders and medals during the period he was using falsified documents to cheat agencies and organisations.
Hệ was named as the mastermind behind the case as he instructed the illegal use of military transport vehicles and those wearing official number plates, and the trade of low-quality oil and gas.
He was found to have asked Lâm to sign contracts to mortgage the vehicles at credit establishments to get loans.
The court also found that Tiệp and Sơn supported Hệ and Lâm in signing off on documents related to the substandard oil, and Thắm, as General Director of Thái Sơn Corporation, demonstrated lax management of Thái Sơn JSC and his subordinates.
At the appeal trial, Hệ asked the judge to review the verdict issued by the first-instance court while Thắm and Lâm asked for reduced sentences.
The hearing will continue today. — VNS