The first-instance trial of five local officials involved in a land eviction case in Tien Lang district, Hai Phong City, concluded on April 10 after three days of sitting with several jail sentences.
The People’s Court of Hai Phong City gave out a 30-month jail term to Nguyen Van Khanh, former vice chairman of Tien Lang District People’s Committee, on the charge of damaging property of citizens.
A 24-month suspended jail term each was given to Pham Xuan Hoa, former chief of the Natural Resources and Environment Department of Tien Lang district, and Le Thanh Liem, former chairman of Tien Lang District’s Vinh Quang Commune on the same charge. At the same time, Pham Dang Hoan, former secretary of the Vinh Quang Commune’s Party committee, got a 15-month suspended prison sentence.
Meanwhile, Le Van Hien, former chairman of Tien Lang District People’s Committee, was given a 15-month suspended sentence for “irresponsibility causing serious consequences” under the Criminal Code.
The jury also decided that the five defendants have to pay damages for Doan Van Vuon, who was the victim in the trial but also a defendant in another case tried on April 5 by the same court.
According to prosecutors, on January 5, 2012, Khanh directly instructed 100 police officers and soldiers to evict Vuon from 19 hectares (47 acres) of swampland leased out to him in 1993 under a 14-year contract in Vinh Quang Commune.
The officers damaged the house, some tents erected near a fish pond and other property belonging to Vuon’s family.
Hoa, Liem and Hoan had helped Khanh perform the land eviction, according to prosecutors. Hien was charged for letting his subordinates illegally damage Vuon’s properties.
On April 5, Vuon and his younger brother Doan Van Quy were sentenced to five years in prison each for attempted murder, after they used weapons to resist the land eviction.