They are Nguyen Vinh Quyen, 54, and Lai Huu Lan, 63, who were both charged with “abusing position and power”.
Another former official, Nguyen Van Hoa, 65, former deputy chairman of Vinh Phuc Province People’s Committee, was given a reprimand for “being irresponsible and causing serious consequences.”
The instigator of the case is Nguyen Huu Quan, a 42-year-old businessman in Hanoi’s Tay Ho District. Quan fled from Vietnam in 2011 and had been wanted internationally until he was arrested by US police at Dulles international airport in Washington D.C. on February 23, 2012.
The former city head Quyen ordered his subordinates to forge Hoa’s signature in a document to revoke 25 hectares of farmland in Dong Tam Commune in 2009. The land was later illegally handed to Quan and Duong Dinh Tam, a businessman, to develop an urban project in their own interests.
The land withdrawal and the use of the farming land for the urban project were against the Law on Land and other relevant regulations, causing a total loss of VND30 billion ($1.44 million) to the State budget, the court said.
In return for the help from these State officials, Quan and Tam gave kickbacks to them. For example, Quan gave Lan a Toyota Camry car worth VND1.1 billion ($52,800).
Six other defendants in the case also received sentences from 30 months to 2 years. They are Nguyen Xuan Truong, 57, former deputy chairman of the city’s Dong Tam Ward; Nguyen Thi Kim Lien, 54, former director of the city Department of Natural Resources and Environment; Nguyen Thi Ngoc, 41, former director of the Department of Finance and Planning; Nguyen Xuan Lien, 51, former deputy chairman of the province’s Tam Dao District People’s Committee; Vu Van Chuc, 46, an officer at the Department of Natural Resources and Environment; and Duong Dinh Tam, 42.