A court in Vietnam's northern province of Vinh Phuc Monday began a trial of eight provincial officials accused of land-related corruption.
Nguyen Van Hoa, 65, a former vice chairman of the province People's Committee, has been charged with "lack of responsibility causing serious consequences."
The seven others face charges of "abuse of power."
According to prosecutors, between September 2006 and August 2010 the officials abused their power to appropriate some state-owned farm land with the intention of handing it over to Nguyen Anh Quan and Duong Dinh Tam to set up a farm.
They then forged documents and submitted them to the People's Committee for approval.
They caused a loss of around VND30 billion (US$1.4 million) to the government, the prosecutors said.
Tam is being tried -- for the same charge as the seven officials -- while Quan is still at large. He fled first to germany and then to the US, but his current whereabouts are not known.
An arrest warrant is out for him.