Vietnam: Public officials face charges for abuse of official functions in relation to land awards

Author: Joshua Lipes, RadioFreeAsia, Published on: 7 August 2017

"Vietnam Court to Try Officials For Abuse of Power in Land Dispute District", 08 August 2017

A court...is set to try more than a dozen officials accused of abusing their authority to manage land deals in My Duc district's Dong Tam commune...

...My Duc District People's Court will hear the cases against 14 former officials ...charged with "taking advantage of position or power while performing duties" and "irresponsibly causing serious consequences," ...

...Some of the defendants abused state management of land and allocated parcels to 29 households in Dong Tam commune in return for billions of dong (1 billion dong = U.S. $44,000) in profit, while those with the Department of Natural Resources signed documents related to the land without verifying its ownership.

Farmers in Dong Tam say the government is seizing 47 hectares (116 acres) of their farmland for the military-run Viettel Group--the country's largest mobile phone operator--without adequately compensating them.

Lawyer Nguyen Kha Thanh...told RFA that the severity of the sentences facing the 14 defendants "depends on how much money they took."

Hanoi-based lawyer Ha Huy Son told RFA that the defendants are likely to receive leniency because of their political position.

Both lawyers told RFA that, if convicted, the court would require the defendants to return the money they earned through their abuse of management...

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Related companies: Viettel Group