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Former deputy health minister stands trial

HCMC – The Hanoi People’s Court started the trial for former Deputy Minister of Health Cao Minh Quang and eight other defendants for their alleged responsility for irregularities in the procurement of materials to produce antivirals of the H5N1 avian influenza virus.

The trial is expected to last five days, from November 21 to 25, chaired by Judge Nguyen Quang Huy.

Cao Minh Quang and his four subordinates face charges of negligence, leading to losses of over VND61 billion for the State, according to the Supreme People’s Procuracy.

In this case, Luong Van Hoa, former general director of Cuu Long Pharmaceutical JSC, and three of his subordinates are prosecuted for abusing power or position while executing duties.

According to the indictment, the Ministry of Health required Cuu Long Pharmaceutical JSC and some other units to produce oseltamivir, the antiviral for the H5N1 avian influenza virus.

During negotiations, Cuu Long Pharmaceutical JSC received a discount of around US$3.85 million on the purchase of the raw materials. However, they did not report the price reduction to the health ministry.

Meanwhile, Cao Minh Quang and his subordinates did not conduct any inspection, although they discovered that Cuu Long Pharmaceutical JSC had retained more than US$3.8 million in paying the suppliers.

Upon receiving a request from the Ministry of Finance to clarify the case, Quang still did not direct any inspection to take back the money, resulting in financial losses for the State.

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