|Defendants at the court hearing. — VNA/VNS Photo Hưng Thịnh|
ĐẮK NÔNG — The People’s Court of Đắk Nông Province held the first hearing of six people accused of deforestation and receiving bribes in Đắk G’Long District’s Quảng Sơn Commune.
The defendants include Phan Thành Nghĩa, 52, Nguyễn Công Danh, 40, Nguyễn Văn Tường, 31, Phùng Minh Chiến, 38 and Y Kruih Hmok and Đinh Gia Tuấn, 34.
At the trial, Nghĩa was sentenced to five years in prison for destroying forests and accepting bribes. Doanh was sentenced to three years in prison for deforestation. Tường, Chiến and Y Kruih Hmok were sentenced to two years for the same violation.
Tuấn was sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of accepting bribes.
According to the indictment, Nghĩa hired Tường, Chiến and Y Kruih Hmok to chop down trees in the forest sub-area 1680 to clear the land for cultivation between October 2017 and February 6, 2018.
In order to ensure the deforestation was not reported, Nghĩa offered to give VNĐ10 million (US$430) and a wooden bed worth VNĐ5.5 million ($236) to Tuấn, who worked as deputy head of Forest Protection and Management Group No 2 of Quảng Sơn Forestry One Member Co Ltd.
The action was supported from Doanh, who was head of Forest Protection and Development Management Department of the company, which manages the deforested area.
The defendants destroyed 6.4ha of forest, of which Tường was responsible for 2.9ha, Chiến destroyed 2.1ha and Hmok 1.4ha. Total value of destroyed forest was VNĐ78.8 million ($3,400).
The provincial Police Department identified some other individuals involved in the deforestation including Nưng Trọng Hiếu, Nguyễn Văn Tuấn, Trần Văn Bắc, Trần Văn Đương and Nguyễn Văn Rớt.
They were all employees of the company. However, they were not involved in the legal proceedings because the exact location and area of their deforestation violations could not be determined. — VNS