Dutch businessperson sues Vietnam government for $1.25 billion in decades-long dispute

05-Sep-2017 Intellasia | Vnexpress | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The former Vietnamese national claims he was wrongfully convicted of bribery and land management violations.

An international court is hearing a lawsuit filed by a Dutch national of Vietnamese descent who is demanding $1.25 billion in compensation from the Vietnamese government for convictions that date back to 1998.

Trinh Vinh Binh claims he was wrongfully convicted of bribery and land management violations.

At a regular press briefing on Wednesday, minister and Chair of the Govenment Office Mai Tien Dung said that “we will have to wait”, in response to a question about Vietnam’s reaction to the suit, which has been lingering for around two decades.

Binh, who left the country after the Vietnam War, returned as a Dutch national in the early 1990s and invested in a number of projects in HCM City and nearby provinces.

In 1998, the People’s Court of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province sentenced him to 11 years in jail for giving bribes and violating land protection and management regulations. He was also fined and his assets in Vietnam were seized, possibly the reason why he did not have to serve his time behind bars.

After returning to the Netherlands he filed a lawsuit to an international court in Stockholm against the Vietnamese government in 2003, saying that he had been wrongfully convicted.

He withdrew the complaint following an out of court settlement.

However, he sued again in January 2015 after reportedly not receiving the settlement he had been promised.

The second trial started at the International Court of Arbitration in Paris on August 21. It is scheduled to close this week.

At the Wednesday press briefing, minister Dung said the Vietnamese government has been trying to create a fair and transparent investment environment to build trust among foreign investors.

He cited a 45 percent jump in FDI pledges in the first eight months this year as evidence of the efforts.

“At the moment, there’s a strong wave of investment flowing into Vietnam,” he said, as cited by Vietnam News Agency.

But he also called for caution, saying that any malfeasance among local businesses and government agencies could put the central government in legal trouble and earn it a bad reputation.

http://e.vnexpress.net/news/business/dutch-businessman-sues-vietnam-gov-t-for-1-25 billion-in-decades-long-dispute-3635222.html

 


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