Trial begins for Vietnam ship scandal executives

File photo: Vinashin shipping State-owned company Vinashin, established in 1996, is struggling to keep afloat

Related Stories

Former top officials accused of bringing one of Vietnam's largest state-owned companies to the brink of bankruptcy have gone on trial for violating regulations.

The Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin) ran up debts of up to $4.5bn (£2.9bn) due to rapid expansion, sparking investor fears in Vietnam.

Ex-chairman Pham Thanh Binh and eight others are accused of huge causing losses.

A conviction could mean 20 years' jail.

Vinashin was established in 1996 with the goal of becoming one of the world's top shipbuilders.

A court official said that the defendants, who were charged in November, "intentionally violated state regulations on economic management".

The case reportedly focuses on $43m in losses said to be linked to the purchase of ships without government approval, as well as failed power plant projects.

The trial is being held in the northern port city of Hai Phong and is expected to finish on Friday.

An international warrant has also been filed for two other executives who are not in custody.

After the scandal, agencies downgraded Vietnam's credit rating and cited Vinashin as one of the reasons. In 2010, Vinashin defaulted on its first payment on a $600m loan to creditors.

The government had said while the global economic crisis had caused the cancellation of two-thirds of ship orders, Vinashin's woes were also due to mismanagement.

Mr Binh is considered to be close to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who appointed him to office.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Asia stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • KnucklesGood or bad?

    For many it can be very satisfying to 'crack' the bones in your hand, but is it bad for you?


  • BatteriesClick Watch

    More power to your phone - the lithium-ion batteries that could last twice as long

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.