Trần Văn Minh (second from left) and Văn Hữu Chiến (fourth from left), two former chairmen of Đà Nẵng People's Committee listen to the verdict from Hà Nội People's Court on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn
HÀ NỘI — Two former Đà Nẵng political leaders were sentenced to a total of 29 years behind bars on Monday for their role in dozens of public land deals with real estate mogul Phan Văn Anh Vũ which caused losses of hundreds of millions of dollars to the State.
Trần Văn Minh, 64, who acted as Đà Nẵng People’s Committee chairman from 2006 to 2011, was jailed for 12 years for breaches in managing and using State assets that caused losses and wastefulness, and another five years for his violations of land management regulations.
His successor Văn Hữu Chiến, 66, was found guilty for the same charges by the Hà Nội People’s Court, and jailed for 12 years.
The man at the centre of the case, Phan Văn Anh Vũ, also known as Vũ ‘nhôm’, was sentenced to a total of 25 years for breaches in management and dishonestly using State assets and land management.
The court heard that Minh, Chiến and 18 others deliberately broke the law to allow Vũ to acquire a number of public land lots, State-owned buildings and projects between 2006 and 2014.
Vũ was found to have gained management and rights to 22 public houses and land lots and seven planned projects at unreasonably cheap prices, causing losses of about VNĐ22 trillion (US$936.1 million) to the State.
The 44-year-old businessman denied his wrongdoings, insisting that his purchases of public land and houses were “completely legal”. He also disputed that he established close relationships with Đà Nẵng leaders – a claim which was rejected by the court.
Vũ was ordered to compensate the State more than VNĐ3 trillion while Minh and Chiến had to pay back VNĐ400 billion and VNĐ146 billion, respectively.
Vũ was already serving a sentence of nine years after a Hà Nội court found him guilty of deliberately disclosing state secrets last year. A court in HCM City in 2018 also handed him a jail term of 17 years for abusing power to appropriate assets, followed by another trial in Hà Nội last year which made him serve 15 years for power abuse. — VNS