Appeal court upholds 18 years of imprisonment for Dinh La Thang

18:00 | 26/06/2018

This afternoon, the court refused Dinh La Thang’s appeal, upholding the penalty of 18 years of imprisonment and VND600 billion ($26.4 million) of compensation.

appeal court upholds 18 years of imprisonment for dinh la thang
Dinh La Thang and five defendants listening to the sentence

This is the second time that Dinh La Thang’s appeal was refused. Thus, his total penalty is 30 years of imprisonment for the charge of “deliberately acting against state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences” (Article 165 of the 1999 Penal Code).

Two months ago, in the appeal court of the case of PetroVietnam Construction JSC (PVC) and Thai Binh 2 thermal power plant, Thang’s appeal was also refused and his penalty of 13 years in prison was upheld.

According to the Criminal Code, the maximum penalty for summary judgment is 30 years of imprisonment, thereby, Dinh La Thang will only receive this maximum penalty.

The appeal trial of Dinh La Thang (former chairman of PetroVietnam) and six other defendants in the case of deliberately acting against state regulations, causing a damage of VND800 billion ($35.2 million) through capital contribution to Oceanbank, opened on June 19.

The court has refused the appeal and upheld the sentence of the first instance court for the following five defendants:

  • Vu Khanh Truong, former member of PetroVietnam’s board of directors, is sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment and paying back VND40 billion ($1.76 million);
  • Nguyen Xuan Thang, former member of PetroVietnam’s board of directors, is sentenced to 22 months of imprisonment and paying back VND15 billion ($0.66 million);
  • Nguyen Xuan Son, former deputy general director of PetroVietnam, is sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment and paying back VND15 billion ($0.66 million). He was sentenced to death for the summary of the two verdicts;
  • Nguyen Thanh Liem, former member of PetroVietnam’s board of directors, had his penalty reduced to 20 months of non-custodial reform and paying back VND15 billion ($0.66 million);
  • Ninh Van Quynh, former chief accountant of PetroVietnam, is sentenced to 23 years of imprisonment on two charges and paying back VND100 billion ($4.4 million);
  • Phan Dinh Duc, former member of PetroVietnam’s board of directors, had the charge changed to "negligence that results in property damage of the State, an agency, organisation, or enterprise" (Article 179) and was cautioned by the court (from the sentence of 15 months of non-custodial reform for the charge of deliberately acting against state regulations).

The amount of VND20 billion ($0.88 million) Ninh Van Quynh had received from Nguyen Xuan Son, will be returned to Son and subtracted from the amount of VND49 billion ($2.16 million) that Son appropriated.

The appeal verdict held that PetroVietnam's chairman is responsible for the group’s business activities and operation. The board of management does not have the right to sign investment decisions by itself without submitting it to the prime minister.

Thereby, the prime minister must be the person who provides the in-priciple decision and PetroVietnam conducted the capital contribution to Oceanbank without it. However, PetroVietnam was allowed to contribute a maximum of 20 per cent of Oceanbank's total capital and had to take responsibility for it. No document was produced to show that the prime minister has given in-principle approval as Dinh La Thang claimed.

As a result, the verdict noted that Thang’s capital contribution did not comply with the regulations. The VND244 billion ($10.75 million) Oceanbank paid PetroVietnam in dividends, which the defendants asked to subtract this from the total loss of VND800 billion ($35 million), but the court found this request unfounded. The verdict confirmed that this is a very serious case, finding no reason to reduce the sentences of the defendants.

Nguyen Huong

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