The Supreme People's Court on Feb 16 ordered a new trial in the case against farmer Doan Van Vuon versus the Tien Lang District People's Committee in the northern city of Hai Phong, ruling that the People's Court had wrongfully dismissed the case in April 2010.
Sai Gon Giai Phong interviewed Pham Van Phich, vice chief Judge of the Hai Phong People's Court.
Phich said that those involved in illegal acquisition of the land, coercive eviction and demolition of Vuon's house, or writing derogatory reports, will receive appropriate punishment. “Several people will face strict disciplinary action”, he told reporters, “the results will be made public soon.”
|Pham Van Phich, vice chief Judge of the Hai Phong People's Court (Photo: Sggp)|
The trial of farmer Doan Van Vuon will take place in a few days and members of the council of Judges will be totally new, Phich added.
Meanwhile, the Supreme People's Court found that the previous trial court had failed to comply with all required legal procedures or consult with relevant land management agencies before issuing its sentence.
The court also failed to consider the issue of compensation due to Vuon when his land was seized, even if the seizure was deemed lawful.
The People's Court of Hai Phong also failed to facilitate conditions for Vuon and the Tien Lang District People's Committee to negotiate in accordance with the law.
Significantly, the Supreme People's Court found that Vuon was neither present nor represented during the trial court's hearing, and the court unilaterally dismissed Vuon's case in violation of civil procedures and Vuon's lawful rights.
A representative of the Supreme People's Procuracy argued in support of Vuon's appeal and also urged the Hai Phong People's Court to handle the case in accordance with the law.
Also on afternoon of Feb 16, a team of investigation policemen came to Vuon’s garden. They collected some remains of Vuon’s house for evidence to bring the case of destruction of Vuon's house to the court.
Meanwhile, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Hai Phong ordered some insignificant agencies to make derogatory criticism.
Vuon received a grant of land use rights to 20 hectares in Vinh Quang Commune in 1991 for fish breeding. He later reclaimed another 19.3 hectares of submerged land on his own initiative, and the Tien Lang District People's Commitee fined him for the encroachment. After paying the fine, he was given permission by the district to continue using the land for another 14 years, commencing on October 4, 1993. However, when the term expired, the district People's Committee attempted to retrieve the entire 40.3 hectares.
On January 5 this year, when officials from the district People's Committee attempted to seize the 19.3 hectare plot, Vuon and members of his family resisted with arms, shooting at and wounding six police officers and soldiers.