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Ex-vice chairman of HCM City People’s Committee appeals first instance judgment

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Nguyen Thanh Tai, former Vice Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee, has filed an appeal against the judgments which were announced at the first instance trial.

Ex-vice chairman of HCM City People's Committee appeals first instance judgment hinh anh 1

Defendant Nguyen Thanh Tai, former Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, at the trial (Photo: VNA)

At the first trial on September 20, Tai was sentenced to eight years in prison for “violating regulations on the management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness”.

According to the jury, the land plot at No. 8-12 Le Duan Street in District 1, covering a total area of over 4,800 sq. m., is owned by the State and assigned to the HCM City Housing Management and Trading Company for management and leased out to four companies subordinate to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. On November 20, 2007, the municipal People’s Committee approved the construction of a hotel and part of a commercial centre there.

The HCM City Housing Management and Trading Company, with the currently wanted Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy being the director, proposed the municipal People’s Committee permit it to set up a new legal entity in the form of a joint stock company and to mobilise other capital sources to implement the project. This proposal was accepted by Tai as a Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee.

Taking advantage of her personal relationship with Tai, Le Thi Thanh Thuy, who was then Chairwoman of the Hoa Thang Nam One-Member Limited Company, suggested the HCM City Housing Management and Trading Company allow her business to take part in this project.

After that, Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy signed a document introducing the Hoa Thang Nam company to the project, which was approved by Tai without assigning a specialised agency to verify this firm’s experience and financial capacity.

The four companies under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which were renting land at the plot, agreed with the Kinh Do Investment Co. Ltd to establish a new legal entity which was the Lavenue Investment JSC and let Le Thi Thanh Thuy act as Chairwoman of its board of directors.

Later, those companies transferred their shares, putting the land plot into private ownership, thus causing a loss of over 1.927 trillion VND (83.1 million USD at the current exchange rate) to the State.

The jury concluded that Le Thi Thanh Thuy incited Tai so as to profit from the documents signed by him. Meanwhile, Dao Anh Kiet (former Director of the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment), Nguyen Hoai Nam (former Secretary of the Party Committee of District 2), and Truong Van Ut (former deputy head of the land management section at the Department of Natural Resources and Environment) knew that the project’s dossier was insufficient and hadn’t been approved or verified but still proposed the approval of decisions that ran counter to legal regulations.

At the trial, Le Thi Thanh Thuy was given a five-year jail term, Kiet five years (total penalty is 11 years and six months, including the sentence in a previous case), Nam four years, and Ut three years (total penalty is eight years, including the sentence in a previous case) also for “violating regulations on the management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness”.

Besides, the jury assigned the HCM City People’s Committee to revoke all the land use right certificates and other papers related to the land plot previously granted to the Lavenue company.

It also decided that the five defendants have to compensate over 4.7 billion VND for the loss. The money the Hoa Thang Nam company used to make capital contribution to the Lavenue company will also be confiscated.

Previously, on October 2, the Head of the municipal People’s Procuracy appealed against the first instance judgment on the handling of evidence and the losses in the case.

According to the Procuracy, the first-instance judgment’s declaration to withdraw only 126 out of 157 billion VND as the contributed capital of the HCM City Housing Management and Trading Company, still causes a loss of over 30 billion VND to the State budget.

In addition, the Procuracy said the losses must be determined at the time of prosecution of over 1.92 trillion VND in line with the indictment of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, not over 252 billion VND. The fact that the Court calculates the losses at the time of committing the crime did not determine the nature of the case./.VNA

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/ex-vice-chairman-of-hcm-city-people-s-committee-appeals-first-instance-judgment-679242.html

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US backs a strong, independent Vietnam: Pompeo

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US backs a strong, independent Vietnam: Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) is with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi, October 30, 2020. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has affirmed his nation’s continued support for a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam.

Meeting his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi Friday, Pompeo said he appreciated the continuous strengthening and expanding of the two countries’ comprehensive partnership on the basis of respecting each other’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political institutions.

The foreign affairs ministry said in a statement that Pompeo also affirmed the U.S.’s support for Vietnam to play an increasingly important role in the region.

He also said the U.S. was committed to maintaining stable relations and continuing to cooperate with Vietnam to ensure bilateral relations progress substantially, reliably, effectively and sustainably, making a positive contribution to security, peace, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

Foreign Minister Minh said that Vietnam highly values its comprehensive partnership with the U.S., as well as the two countries’ collaboration in organizing activities to celebrate the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations despite difficulties posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The minister thanked the U.S. for its support to Vietnam, which includes a sum of $2 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in responding to the pandemic and the flooding that ravaged the central region for three weeks since October 6.

During their talks, the two officials discussed measures to further promote bilateral relations, including resumption of regular delegation exchanges, humanitarian cooperation and confronting the legacies of war, as well as increasing bilateral trade and investment on the basis of mutual benefit.

“Our everyday interactions are highlighted by increasing trade and investment ties, strategic cooperation, and collaboration on humanitarian and legacy of war issues, including the solemn duty of accounting for our wartime missing,” Pompeo said.

Minh said both sides should effectively implement an action plan towards sustainable and harmonious balance of trade and emphasized the potential for further cooperation in the energy sector. He also said Vietnam was committed to creating a favorable investment and business environment for the long term success of American businesses in Vietnam.

He suggested the U.S. continues to support the central role and solidarity of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), thus promoting the ASEAN-U.S. strategic partnership.

Pompeo expessed high appreciation of Vietnam’s role as ASEAN Chair for 2020 and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 term.

He expressed his wish that the two sides continue to strengthen coordination in handling common challenges, contributing to maintaining peace, stability, security and development in the region and around the world.

During his October 29-30 visit, Pompeo also met with PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Minister for Public Security To Lam.

The trip was made to “reaffirm the strength of our comprehensive partnership, celebrate the 25th anniversary of U.S.-Vietnam diplomatic relations, and discuss issues in the South China Sea and Mekong regions of mutual concern,” the U.S. Department of State said in a statement.

“We are committed to achieving fair and reciprocal trade with Vietnam, as well as an open investment climate, by reducing barriers to trade and advancing market-oriented reforms. Our collaborative work to ensure the free and fair flow of goods and investment between our two countries will result in mutual prosperity,” it said.

Vietnam and the U.S. officially normalized their relationship on July 11, 1995, 20 years after the end of the Vietnam War.

The former foes are comprehensive partners today, with bilateral trade increasing from $450 million in 1994 to $77 billion in 2019.

The U.S. is now Vietnam’s largest importer and Vietnam remains the U.S.’s fastest-growing market in Southeast Asia. Despite the adverse impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, bilateral trade value rose nearly 10 percent in the first half of this year.

Pompeo’s third visit to Vietnam is part of an itinerary that includes several Asian countries. He had previously attended the U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi, India, and visited Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

His first visit to Vietnam was in July 2018, when he discussed with Vietnamese leaders ways to further the two countries’ partnership as well as global and regional issues of mutual interest, including North Korea’s denuclearization. The second one was in February 2019 when he accompanied President Donald Trump for the latter’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/us-backs-a-strong-independent-vietnam-pompeo-4184715.html

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Vietnam starts COVID-19 vaccine trials on monkeys

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Do Tuan Dat, director of developer Vaccine and Biological Production No. 1 (Vabiotech), said on October 30 that Vietnamese researchers have begun performing trials for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on monkeys.

The trial phase will see the vaccine given in various doses to 12 healthy macaca mulatta monkeys aged between three and five years old, with each animal weighing over three kg.

The 12 monkeys will be divided into two groups, including those that are given injections and those not given injections. Indeed, the vaccine will be administered to the animals on two occasions, with continuous evaluation throughout the process as each shot is given every 21 to 28 days.

Dat outlined that it will take approximately three months to get the results back from the trials, after which the blood samples of the monkeys will be sent to units in Hanoi for testing.

A COVID-19 vaccine for humans is expected to be ready for mass production by 2022. VOV

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/vietnam-starts-covid-19-vaccine-trials-on-monkeys-685000.html

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No new COVID-19 cases on Friday

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Friday evening update

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/804088/no-new-covid-19-cases-on-friday.html

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