The HCM City High-Level People’s Court on Monday (May 27) resumed the appeals trial of defendants involved in wrongdoings at Dong A Bank (DAB), which incurred losses of more than VND3.6 trillion (US$154 million).
|Defendant Phan Van Anh Vu (also known as Vu Nhom), 42, former chairman of the Da Nang-based Bac Nam 79 Construction Joint Stock Company, at the appeals trial on Monday. — VNA/ VNS Photo Thanh Chung|
The defendants in the case include Tran Phuong Binh, former general director and vice chairman of the DAB management board, Phan Van Anh Vu (also known as Vu Nhom), former chairman of the Da Nang-based Bac Nam 79 Construction Joint Stock Company, Nguyen Thi Kim Xuyen, former deputy general director of DAB, and others related to the case.
According to defendant Phan Van Anh Vu, he has officially been a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda since 2017. Antigua and Barbuda are located in the West Indies, lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
In the appeal, Vu said that he did not commit crimes and that the first-instance court did not assess the evidence fully and objectively.
“The conclusions of the investigating body and the evidence verified at the court have conflicts, so there are not enough grounds to accuse me of abusing my position and power to appropriate property,” he said.
As the case’s mastermind, Tran Phuong Binh said he accepted his life imprisonment sentence, but said the court should reconsider the amount of interest that he must pay to DAB as compensation for his misdeeds.
Binh also said he would assume all civilian responsibilities on behalf of his subordinates and others involved.
Nguyen Thi Kim Xuyen and 15 other defendants appealed to reduce the penalty on the charges of “abusing power to appropriate assets” and “intentionally violating regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences”.
Last month, the city’s People’s Court postponed the appeals trial because of the absence of many defendants. The People’s Procuracy said the legitimate rights and interests of the defendants and others connected to the case should be protected.
Binh, Vu, Xuyen and other defendants were prosecuted last year by the Supreme People’s Procuracy on charges of “abusing power to appropriate assets”, “intentionally violating regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences” and showing “lack of responsibility, causing serious consequences” at the bank.
On December 20 last year, the HCM City People’s Court sentenced Binh to life in jail on the charges of “abusing power to appropriate assets”, and to 20 years in prison for “intentionally violating regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences”.
Vu was sentenced to 17 years in jail for “abusing power to appropriate assets”.
Xuyen was sentenced to 20 years in jail for “abusing power to appropriate assets” and to 18 years in jail for “intentionally violating regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences”. On the two charges, Xuyen’s total prison sentence will be 30 years.
Another 23 defendants received sentences ranging from two to 17 years, including probation for some.
Investigators discovered that Binh, who was also chairman of DAB’s credit council, owned 10.25 per cent of the bank’s charter capital, and his family members held a further 7.7 per cent.
He was also in charge of the bank’s budget and investment division at the time, they said.
According to the indictment, Binh directed all activities of funding and investment at DAB and abused his power to appropriate property, causing a loss of VND3.6 trillion.
The indictment said that DAB’s accumulated losses totalled VND31 trillion, while equity capital was a negative VND25.5 trillion.
Total assets at the time of the violations were only VND47 trillion. Binh must be responsible for the losses, the indictment said.
The investigators concluded that Binh caused a loss of VND200 billion to DAB while raising the bank’s charter capital from VND5 trillion to VND6 trillion.
The appeals trial is scheduled to run until June 7.