22 officials tried for land corruption in Vietnam

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The trial of 23 people, of which 22 are local officials, including two deputy mayors, who were allegedly involved in a major land corruption scandal, opened in An Giang Province Monday.

Ho Dang Chien and Huynh Giang Son, the former deputy chairmen of the Long Xuyen People's Committee, were tried along with 20 officials and a private company director.

Long Xuyen is the Mekong Delta province's capital city.

The defendants were accused of illegally leveling public land areas used for farming and re-zoning them for urban residence.

They then illegally established seven residential areas on the land and sold the land plots for their own profit.

The total losses caused by the officials to the state budget have not been tallied yet.

According to prosecutors, the officials broke Long Xuyen's master zoning plan and badly affected investors who consciously followed zoning policies.

The court will deliver its verdicts on September 4.

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