Eight other defenders, including Mai Van Phuc, former General Director of Vinalines, were also brought to the court.
At the first instance trial in December 2013, the Hanoi-based Supreme People’s Court sentenced Dung and Phuc to death, and handed down jail sentences to seven other defenders.
All the defenders later lodged appeals against the court’s ruling.
|Duong Chi Dung and 8 other defenders inside the courtroom
According to the indictment at the first instance court, Dung signed a deal to purchase Russia's Floating Dock 83M for a shipyard in the south, knowing that the floating dock, built in 1965, was damaged and had not been in use since 2006.
Though the owner offered a negotiable price of under US$5 million, Dung still approved the purchase of the dock at a price tag of US$9 million from an intermediary, the Singapore-based AP company, which bought the dock from its real owner at only US$2.3 million.
The malpractice caused losses of VND366.9 billion (US$17.2 million) to the State budget. In the deal, Dung, Phuc and two other Vinalines executives, Tran Huu Chieu and Tran Hai Son, appropriated US$1.666 million.
Dung was arrested on September 4, 2012 after several months on the run since May 17, 2012 when an indictment and arrest warrant were issued for him.