|Former Ministers of Information and Communications Nguyen Bac Son (L) and Truong Minh Tuan (Photo: Ministry of Public Security)
There will be 14 defendants at the trial, which is slated to last until December 31.
Among the defendants there are two former ministers of information and communications (MIC) – Nguyen Bac Son and Truong Minh Tuan.
Son, Tuan and 11 others are indicted on the charge of “violating regulations on the management and use of public capital causing serious consequences” under Article 220, Clause 3 of the 2015 Criminal Code.
The 11 other defendants accused of the same charge are Pham Dinh Trong, former head of the MIC’s Department of Enterprise Management; Vo Van Manh and Hoang Duy Quang from AMAX investment consultancy and valuation company; three former MobiFone leaders - Le Nam Tra, Cao Duy Hai and Phan Thi Hoa Mai; and five Deputy General Directors of MobiFone – Pham Thi Phuong Anh, Ho Tuan, Nguyen Dang Nguyen, Nguyen Bao Long and Nguyen Manh Hung.
Meanwhile, Pham Nhat Vu, former AVG Chairman is charged with giving bribes in accordance to Article 364, Clause 4 of the 2015 Criminal Code.
At the same time, Son, Tuan, Hai and Tra are charged with receiving bribes under Article 354, Clause 4 of the 2015 Criminal Code.
According to the indictment of the Supreme People’s Court, in 2015, the MIC-run MobiFone bought 95 percent of AVG with 8.9 trillion VND (382.7 million VND), many times higher than the real value of the struggling AVG at that time.
During the purchasing process, Son, Tuan, Tra and Hai made use of their positions to speed up the deal without the approval of the Prime Minister, despite their knowledge of the poor financial and business situation of AVG. The deal caused a loss of over 6.47 trillion VND (278.21 million USD) to the State.
Son received 3 million USD from AVG Chairman Vu while Tra, Hai and Tuan got 2.5 million USD, 500,000 USD and 200,000 USD, respectively, to accelerate the transaction.