Court reduces penalty for ex-official involved in VSS’s wrongdoings

09:36 | 22/02/2020
The High-level People’s Court in Hanoi on February 21 reduced sentences for three defendants, including former Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Le Bach Hong, while upholding penalties for three others involved in violations at the Vietnam Social Security (VSS).
court reduces penalty for ex official involved in vsss wrongdoings
Le Bach Hong, former Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and former General Director of the Vietnam Social Security (Photo: VNA)

The defendants at the appeal trial consisted of Nguyen Huy Ban (former General Director of the VSS), Le Bach Hong (former Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and former General Director of the VSS), Nguyen Phuoc Tuong (former chief accountant of the VSS), Hoang Ha and Tran Tien Vy (former heads of the general planning division under the VSS’s planning-finance department).

Some of them said they only committed the offence of “lacking responsibility, causing serious consequences”, not “deliberately violating the State’s regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences”.

According to the first-instance trial’s verdict, the case related to the VSS’s illegal lending to the Agribank Financial Leasing Company No. 2 (ALC II). In late 2018, the ALC II went bankrupt and was unable to repay the debts. The VSS has yet to recover over 1.7 trillion VND (73.1 million USD) of the loans and their interest from the ALC II.

Le Bach Hong was charged with signing and directing the execution of three loan contracts with the ALC II. The loans are unable to be recovered, thus causing a loss of over 434 billion VND to the State.

Meanwhile, former VSS General Director Nguyen Huy Ban was charged with signing and directing the execution of 11 contracts illegally lending the ALC II 630 billion VND, causing a loss of more than 1.263 trillion VND (including interest) to the State.

At the appeal trial, the jury concluded that Ban held the main role in this case, and he was the first to decide on the illegal lending to the ALC II. Hong held the second role and directly ordered the implementation of two loan contracts which ran counter to the State’s regulations.

However, after taking into account their contributions in the past, the jury decided to reduce the prison sentence for Hong by nine months to five years and three months, and for Ban by two years to 12 years, for “deliberately violating the State’s regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences”.

The court upheld the punishment of 14 years in jail for Nguyen Phuoc Tuong for the same offence.

It also reduced the prison sentence for Hoang Ha by three years to four years and sustained the penalty of three years in prison for Tran Tien Vy. Both were found to have “lacked responsibility, causing serious consequences”.

VNA

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