A Vietnam appellate court has cut the prison term of former Hanoi administration chairman Nguyen Duc Chung by three years following his fulfillment of a US$1 million compensation requirement issued during his hearing last year for an offense related to the purchase of Redoxy-3C to treat polluted lakes in Hanoi.
After a three-day appellate trial, the High People’s Court in Hanoi on Wednesday issued commutations to Chung and his two accomplices for sentences handed down by the Hanoi People’s Court in December for “abusing positions and powers while performing duties.”
Accordingly, Chung received a three-year commutation after the court considered his past achievements and his fulfillment of the VND25 billion ($1.07 million) he owed in compensation for his crimes, as required by the first-instance court.
The total amount included VND10 billion ($429,700) previously paid during the first instance hearing and the remainder recently settled at the appellate trial.
Along with a prison sentence of five years which he was given in December for “appropriating state secret documents,” Chung is required to serve a total of ten years behind bars.
Chung’s two accomplices, Nguyen Truong Giang, former director of Arktic Trading and Service Co. Ltd. (Asktic Co. Ltd.), and Vo Tien Hung, former general director of Hanoi Sewerage and Drainage Company Limited (HSDC), also received commutations for fully paying VND11.1 billion ($477,100) in compensation.
Specifically, Giang and Hung each received an 18-month reduction from their respective jail terms of 4.5 years and four years, respectively.
The court gave such commutations based on a proposal by the High People’s Procuracy that said the three defendants had been aware of their responsibilities related to their wrongdoings in the case and had fully paid the required compensation.
According to the indictment, the Hanoi administration in 2016 directed relevant agencies to address water pollution in local rivers and lakes by searching for suitable advanced technologies.
Chung, then chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, chose the water treatment technology of Germany’s Watch Water GmbH and placed an order for the production of Redoxy-3C for use in treating water pollution after making a trip to Germany to visit the manufacturer.
However, he later instructed Hung to buy Redoxy-3C through Asktic Co. Ltd., where Giang acted as the director, instead of purchasing the agent directly from the German manufacturer, with the intention of gaining personal profit.
Arktic is wholly owned by Chung’s wife, Nguyen Thi Truc Chi Hoa, and the company is in the name of their son, Nguyen Duc Hanh, according to its business registration certificate.
With the green light from Chung, Arktic bought Redoxy-3C from Watch Water GmbH for around VND115 billion ($4.94 million) and resold it to HSDC for some VND151 billion ($6.49 million) to earn a difference of VND36.1 billion ($1.55 million), the indictment said.