Vietnam court to reconsider grand graft case at major shipping company

Thanh Nien News

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Duong Chi Dung, former chairman of Vinalines, at trial last year
The Supreme People’s Court will hear an appeal on the corruption case at the state-owned shipping giant Vinalines Tuesday and reconsider the death sentence issued to former Chairman Duong Chi Dung.
The trial is expected to last for three days and will be chaired by Head Judge Nguyen Van Son, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported Monday.
A total of 16 lawyers will represent the defendants. Tran Dinh Trien, Ngo Ngoc Thuy and Tran Dai Thang of the Hanoi Bar Association will defend for Duong Chi Dung.
According to the Hanoi Civil Verdict Enforcement Agency, Duong Chi Dung’s family recently returned VND4.7 billion (US$223,238) to the agency to assist them in recovering relevant damages.
The family of Mai Van Phuc, Vinalines’ former general director, also returned VND3.5 billion to the agency, in the hopes of a more lenient sentence on appeal.
Last December, Dung and Phuc were sentenced to death for embezzling VND10 billion. The pair also got 28 years and 18 years respectively for "intentionally violating state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences."
Of the other eight defendants: Tran Huu Chieu, the former deputy general director, and Tran Hai Son, the former director of a Vinalines unit, got 19 years and 22 years respectively for "embezzlement" and violating state regulations on economic management,
Two other Vinalines employees, three customs officers and an officer with the Vietnam Register office received jail terms of between four and eight years also for violating state regulations on economic management.
Prosecutors from the Supreme People's Procuracy, Vietnam's highest prosecutors' office, said that the defendants embezzled money to purchase an old and unusable dock for the site of a ship repair yard in southern Vietnam at a cost of more than VND3.8 trillion ($180.1 million).
On January 7, Dung, who was arrested after fleeing the country, alleged that Pham Quy Ngo, deputy minister of public security, had tipped him off about his impending arrest in return for two payments totaling US$510,000.
His confession prompted the court to order an investigation that was halted after Ngo died of cancer on February 18.

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