Runaway bigwig’s second trial suspended pending further investigation in Vietnam

A Hanoi court suspended a $2 million embezzlement trial involving a notorious runaway oil executive on Sunday pending further investigations into one of the companies involved in the case. Trinh Xuan Thanh, former board chairman and general director of PetroVietnam Construction JSC (PVC), is on trial for embezzlement at PVP Land, a real estate project controlled by his firm, but has already been sentenced to life for a similar crime at PVC. Prosecutors called for the hearing to be suspended on the fifth day of the trial to clarify the civil liability of Vietsan, a subsidiary of PVP Land that played a key role in the alleged fraud. According to the indictment, Thanh and other executives at Vietsan falsely devalued the value of PVP Land to embezzle VND49 billion (more than $2 million) in 2010. Prosecutors claim Thanh alone pocketed VND14 billion ($616,500), but returned the money after the case was exposed. The trial was opened on January 24 and is scheduled to last two weeks. Thanh is in the dock with six lawyers and seven co-defendants, including Dinh Manh Thang, a former energy executive and younger brother of Dinh La Thang, a former Politburo member who was sentenced to 13 years for mismanagement as board chairman of PetroVietnam last week. Embezzlement is punishable by death in Vietnam, but the revised Penal Code effective from the start of this year allows convicts to escape capital punishment by returning at least 75 percent of stolen assets. Thanh, 51, was board chairman… [Read full story]


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