Runaway oil exec returns $88k ahead of massive PetroVietnam trial

The family of a notorious PetroVietnam runaway bigwig has returned VND2 billion ($87,800) of the money he is accused of stealing from the state-owned oil giant, his lawyer said. Lawyer Le Van Thiep said Trinh Xuan Thanh’s mother had handed over the money to Hanoi’s Civil Case Enforcement Department under the Ministry of Justice ahead of his trial for mismanagement and embezzlement that starts Monday. In a petition, the family said that “Thanh had agreed and requested his family to voluntarily return part of the government money that was appropriated for now.” Thanh is facing the death sentence for mismanagement and allegedly stealing money from PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVC) during the time he served as its general director and board chairman between 2007 and 2013. But Thanh may be able to escape the harshest punishment if a sufficient amount of lost money is recovered, lawyers said. Vietnam’s revised Penal Code, effective from this month, allows those convicted of embezzlement to avoid the death sentence by returning at least 75 percent of their ill-gotten gains.  Also facing trial on Monday are 21 other PetroVietnam (PVN) executives. The most high profile among them is Dinh La Thang who was former board chairman of PVN between 2006 and 2011 before his political career took off as Minister of Transport in Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s cabinet. He was arrested on December 8, after he was voted out of the then 19-member Politburo, the Party’s decision-making body, and fired as the top leader of Ho Chi… [Read full story]

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