HÀ NỘI — Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng on Thursday asked agencies to step up the investigation, prosecution and trials of cases that were suspected to violate the law, drawing attention from the public.
Chairing the meeting of the Central Steering Committee for Corruption and Negative Phenomena Prevention and Control on Thursday, Trọng asked relevant agencies to focus on solving difficulties and obstacles, speeding up the verification, investigation, and strictly handling violations in specific cases including violations in the medical field or those relating to land management, State property management and use in Bình Dương, Khánh Hòa and HCM City.
He also mentioned the case of “Giving bribes, accepting bribes; Smuggling, manufacturing and trading in fake goods”, which occurred in Đồng Nai and other provinces and cities as well as the case at several units under the Command of the Coast Guard and Border Guard.
He asked for first-instance trials for major cases including “Violations on construction investment, causing serious consequences” at the Đà Nẵng – Quảng Ngãi Expressway Project; “Violations on bidding, causing serious consequences” at Hà Nội Department of Planning and Investment; and the “Violation on management and use of State assets, causing loss and waste, property embezzlement, lack of responsibility causing serious consequences” at Sài Gòn Agriculture Corporation.
At the meeting, the Standing Committee of the committee agreed to oversee the handling of negative behaviour of officials and party members involved in several cases.
Trọng, who is head of the Central Steering Committee for Corruption and Negative Phenomena Prevention and Control, said that in its name, the committee had the additional task of preventing and controlling negative phenomena.
The Central Steering Committee for Corruption Prevention and Control was renamed the Central Steering Committee for Corruption and Negative Phenomena Prevention and Control in September this year.
“Negative phenomena has a very general meaning but here, it is mostly about the degradation of political thought, morality and lifestyle among officials, Party members, civil servants, leaders, and managers of all-level organisations in the political system throughout the country. Those are the root of corruption,” he said.
“Without the degradation, there is no corruption. With good morality, there is no corruption,” he said.
The Party leader said that it was necessary to create a new spirit and new determination in the fight against corruption and negativity; resolutely prevent, detect and strictly handle corrupt and negative acts, particularly the deterioration in political ideology, morality, and lifestyle among cadres, party members, State officials and civil servants.
He said that as an agency preventing and combating corruption and negativity, the members of the Central Steering Committee for Corruption and Negative Phenomena Prevention and Control must be truly exemplary, like “the sword and shield”.
“The sword must be sharp, the shield must be strong, but the mind must be clear and the morality must be good. They must be fair, objective, transparent, impartial, master laws but handle any cases reasonably,” he said.
Since the 19th meeting of the Steering Committee in January 2021, inspectors and auditors sent more than 270 files of cases with criminal signs to the investigating agency for investigation and handling according to regulations, more than four times higher than the same period in previous years, when there was no mechanism for sectors to jointly handle violations.
Agencies nationwide have prosecuted and investigated 2,130 cases with 4,084 accused, prosecuted 2,024 cases with 4,056 defendants, held first instance trials for 1,898 cases with 3,471 defendants for crimes of corruption, related to their position or the economy.
Of those, 266 cases and 646 accused were prosecuted and investigated for corruption. The agencies launched criminal proceedings in 250 cases with 643 defendants; and first-instance trials for 214 cases with 525 defendants. Particularly for cases under the monitoring and supervision of the Steering Committee, there were eight new cases with 38 defendants prosecuted, while an additional 78 defendants were prosecuted in 14 cases.
Investigations were completed in 13 cases with 123 accused. Four cases with 52 defendants required further investigation while 15 cases with 151 defendants received indictments to prosecute.
Fifteen cases with 86 defendants went to first-instance trials and nine cases with 40 defendants went to appeal courts.
The prosecuting agencies temporarily seized, distrained and blocked accounts, and prevented transactions of assets worth more than VNĐ1.75 trillion (US$77.3 million), while civil judgment enforcement agencies have recovered more than VNĐ9 trillion. —
Việt Nam, Hungary foster parliamentary cooperation
HÀ NỘI — Standing Vice-chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Trần Thanh Mẫn and First Officer of the Hungarian NA Márta Mátrai discussed measures to develop the cooperation between the two legislative bodies more practically and effectively during their talks held in Hà Nội on Thursday.
First Officer Márta is leading a high-ranking delegation from the Hungarian NA on a working visit to Việt Nam from January 18-22.
They appreciated that in spite of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral parliamentary cooperation between the two countries was ensured.
Last July, NA Chairman Vương Đình Huệ held a phone talk with his Hungarian counterpart László Kövér to discuss ways to promote the relations between the two countries and two NAs in the future.
The two NAs established a bilateral friendship group of parliamentarians while parliamentarians of the two countries kept meeting, coordinating and supporting each other at multilateral parliamentary forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP).
They said the two NAs should continue organising such activities as well as exchanges and dialogues to share law building experience.
At the talks, Vice Chairman Mẫn spoke highly of the Hungarian delegation’s visit, saying that this was the first international delegation visiting and working with the NA of Việt Nam on the occasion of the new year.
Mẫn said he believed that it would be a good start in the parliamentary relations between Việt Nam and Hungary as well as between Việt Nam and parliaments of other EU member countries.
The Vietnamese NA appreciated the progress in the relations between the two countries over the past years, particularly the development of the bilateral relations to the comprehensive partnership during the visit to Hungary by Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng in 2018, which demonstrated the determination of leaders of the two countries in promoting the bilateral relations.
Vice-Chairman Mẫn stressed that with a traditional friendship of over 70 years, Việt Nam always attached importance to enhancing the multi-faceted cooperation with Hungary – the first comprehensive partner of Việt Nam at Central and Eastern Europe.
Appreciating the effective cooperation between the two countries at multilateral platforms, Mẫn thanked the Hungarian Parliament for supporting the signing and approval of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). The EVFTA, which took effect from August 2020, has created a strong motivation to promote trade exchanges and investment cooperation between Việt Nam and Hungary and other EU member countries.
Hungary was also the first member country of the EU to approve the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (IVIPA), he said.
He also expressed delights at the development of the economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries. Two-way trade turnover reached a record of US$1.3 billion in 2020, despite the pandemic’s impacts.
He said he appreciated that Hungary has considered Việt Nam as a priority partner in its ODA policy with a commitment of Euro 440 million of preferential loans to help implement projects in the fields of priority cooperation between the two countries.
First Officer Márta affirmed that Việt Nam was the most important foreign trade partner of Hungary in Southeast Asia.
She thanked Việt Nam for sending face masks and medical equipment for Hungary to support its COVID-19 prevention and control.
She wished that the Vietnamese NA would have supports to help realise cooperation agreements between the Governments, ministries, and sectors of the two countries. —
Man in Phú Yên Province imprisoned for anti-State propaganda, storing explosives
PHÚ YÊN — The People’s Court of the central province of Phú Yên on Friday sentenced a man to six and a half years in prison for distributing anti-State materials and illegally storing explosives.
According to the indictment issued by the provincial People’s Procuracy, Nguyễn Bảo Tiến, born in 1986 and living in Ward 4 of Tuy Hòa City, followed foreign newspapers and often shared and posted articles with distortions and anti-State content.
From August to October 2019, he received six parcels that contained several books spreading subversive information.
He also sent 46 parcels to other people, and was arrested while handling procedures for sending the 21 others.
An additional 22 parcels with 38 books were also found at his home.
On April 20, 2021, the police discovered a hand grenade hidden by the man.
Tiến said he had secretly brought home the explosive with the detonator attached while participating in a military drill in April 2008.
At the trial, Tiến made pleaded guilty.
The jury sentenced him to six years and six months, including five years and six months for “storing, distributing, and disseminating materials against the State of the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam” and one year for “appropriating and illegally storing explosives” under Article 305 of the amended Penal Code. —
Việt Á imported 3 million COVID quick test kits from China at less than US$1 apiece: VN customs
HÀ NỘI — Việt Á Technologies JSC, the company which has been prosecuted for overcharging RT-PCR COVID-19 tests, had imported three million quick test kits from China at less than US$1 per kit, said the General Department of Việt Nam Customs (GDVC).
The deal from China was worth VNĐ64.7 billion (US$2.8 million) in total.
Last month, the police arrested and initiated legal proceedings against Phan Quốc Việt, general director of Việt Á Technologies, for raising the price of RT-PCR COVID-19 test kits and bribery of health officials to facilitate purchases of their test kits.
According to the GDVC, Phan Quốc Việt was also named the director of 11 other companies, but only Việt Á was trading medical equipment and materials.
From 2017 to 2021, the company imported chemical materials, reagents, lab equipment, and other substances for testing with a total trade turnover of VNĐ286 billion ($12.6 million).
This includes VNĐ162 billion ($7.2 million) for quick tests and reagents, and VNĐ123 billion ($5.4 million) for equipment for laboratory use.
The GDVC is also investigating seven other companies related to Việt Á Technologies JSC: Technique Import and Export JSC (Technimex); Biomedic Science Material JSC; Việt Nam Applied Biology and Technical JSC; Lan Oanh Science Equipment Co Ltd; Việt Hoàng Long Trading Co Ltd; Vina Chemistry Biology Science Equipment Co Ltd; and TBR Technology Corporation. —
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