After a two-day trial, the Hanoi People’s Court on October 27 pronounced a sentence of 12 years’ imprisonment to Pham Hai Bang, former deputy director of the Railway Project Management Unit (RPMU) of Vietnam Railway Corporation (VRC).
|Former deputy director of the Railway Project Management Unit Pham Hai Bang (middle) stands in the dock at the Hanoi People's Court on October 26, 2015__Photo: vnexpress.net|
Five other defendants in the case, namely Pham Quang Duy, Nguyen Nam Thai, Tran Quoc Dong, Tran Van Luc and Nguyen Van Hieu, were sentenced to between five-and-a-half and 11 years in jail.
According to the verdict, these high-ranking RPMU officials have been found receiving VND 11 billion (approximately USD 492,000) in kickback from the Japan Transportation Consultants, Inc., (JTC) during the implementation of a railway project in Hanoi.
All of them were convicted of the crime of abusing their positions and powers while performing official duties.
VRC in 2008 appointed RPMU as the developer of the Hanoi urban railway project No.1, which was partly funded by official development assistance (ODA) loans granted by the Japanese government. VRC then signed a technical consultancy contract with a joint venture led by JTC in 2009.
From September 2009 to February 2014, Bang directed Duy, a RPMU deputy director, and Thai, a RPMU division head, to suggest JTC giving them the aforesaid massive kickback.
Bang then used VND 4.8 billion (approximately USD 214,000) of the sum for many purposes, including giving a part of that to Dong, Luc and Hieu, who were all former RPMU directors, without reporting to VRC.
According to the Trial Council, the defendants' acts of abusing positions and powers while on public duty have caused particularly serious consequences and affected the prestige of Vietnam as well as the Vietnam-Japan cooperation relations in the borrowing and use of ODA.- (VLLF)