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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Trial for former Minister of Industry and Trade to reopen on Jan 18

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HCMC – The Hanoi People’s Court has decided to reopen the first-instance trial for former Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang and nine accomplices on January 18.

They were found to be involved in a case concerning the mismanagement and misuse of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness, and the violation of rules on land management at the Ministry of Industry and Trade and HCMC, the local media reported.

The trial is set to last a week.

Hoang’s accomplices include former head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Light Industry Department Phan Chi Dung, former HCMC vice chairman Nguyen Huu Tin, former deputy director of the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment Lam Nguyen Khoi, former director of the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment Dao Anh Kiet and former deputy chief of the secretariat of the HCMC People’s Committee Le Van Thanh.

The other four comprise Le Quang Minh, former head of the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment’s Infrastructure Development Division; Nguyen Thanh Chuong, former head of the Urban Division at the HCMC People’s Committee Office; Nguyen Lan Chau, an official of the Land Management Division of the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Truong Van Ut, former deputy head of the Land Management Division at the department.

The Supreme People’s Procuracy had earlier prosecuted Hoang and Dung for allegedly violating regulations on the management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness, while eight others were charged with allegedly infringing regulations on land management.

They had earlier been scheduled to stand trial on January 7, but Tin, Chuong and Thanh and many others with related interests and obligations remained absent from the hearing. One of the 21 lawyers who registered to defend the accused was also absent.

The judge felt that the absence of these people without a legitimate reason could affect the results of the hearing and hence postponed it.

The judge also asked the relevant agencies to summon all the defendants and related people once the trial is resumed.

According to the Supreme People’s Procuracy’s indictment, State-run Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Company (Sabeco), under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, received the site lot at 2-4-6 Hai Ba Trung Street to build its headquarters and a trade, service and office center.

However, Vu Huy Hoang, former Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa and Phan Chi Dung allowed Sabeco and three corporate shareholders to set up the Sabeco Pearl Investment JSC to carry out the Saigon Me Linh Tower project at the location.

After Sabeco completed procedures for the project and proposed the HCMC government allow it to add officetels and apartments to the project, the Ministry of Industry and Trade directed Sabeco to divest from the project.

Sabeco illegally transferred the rights to use the land lot worth more than VND3.8 trillion to Sabeco Pearl, causing a loss of over VND2.7 trillion for the State.

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