“I can confirm that steps have been taken to prepare for another round of lawsuits against the Vietnamese government, following the case that I won at the International Court of Justice last time,” Trinh Vinh. Binh, a Vietnamese-Dutch businessman told BBC News Vietnamese on October 20, 2021 from Amsterdam.
“Last October 14, I had an official launch and directly met the representative of the Vietnamese side in an agreed meeting online. I informed them about my requirements and if they will not be met, we will officially sue the Vietnamese side.
I added that there is a provision for the two parties to settle, if the settlement is not completed, as it has not been done before, I will file a lawsuit.
This time, there are two parts, one is the lawsuit that I claim for compensation for me related to the wrongdoings of the government in Phu Yen province in the past and the larger part, which I call the big case this time around regarding my claims for compensation and return of my property that the Vietnamese government has committed or promised to return without fulfilling my request, in addition to other claims related to injustices that I have suffered in the case of which I am a victim and completely unjustly, as the Vietnamese side was subject to the international court’s judgment.”
Mr. Trinh Vinh Binh: I demanded compensation for an elephant but only received an apple
“This time, I work against Phu Yen province, informing the Vietnamese government of Phu Yen province that it has 3 months to settle together, if it cannot be arranged, the matter will be submitted to international arbitration court, and other cases in this batch, I have all prepared, after the letters I sent, if there is no action, I will go ahead.
The first letter I sent notice to Phu Yen province was on July 23, 2021, then the two sides made an appointment, due to the Covid-19 issue, the other party rescheduled for a date of October 14, 2021, to meet and exchange.”
Mr. Trinh Vinh Binh told the BBC that he “has in his hands a lot of solid evidence that the government in Vietnam in the past has committed many wrongdoings, including ‘fraud‘.”
“There is even a problem of ‘collusion’ in covering up wrongdoings, vandalism, appropriation of property, production and business establishments, business and investment projects, which I do in accordance with Vietnam’s law,” said Mr. Binh on October 20.
What’s new in potential second lawsuits?
Regarding the novelty of this potential second round, businessman Trinh Vinh Binh told the BBC on Wednesday:
“There is a new element that I am not bound by anything and by anyone in this round, under the procedure of International Arbitration after 2014, transparency is encouraged, openness, and I have not signatured, just as I don’t agree the point is to be silent and from now on I will never be silent.
And the data, documents, evidence that I have in my hand related to the lawsuit, wrongful wrongs and what I have been treated disadvantaged, unfairly, harmed…, I have the full right to provide for press and I will do it.
I’m also ready to go public with you, why I have to be afraid of anything?”
Regarding the details of the meeting on October 14, 2021, which Mr. Trinh Vinh Binh called the ‘button-pressing’ event to start preparing for his second round of lawsuits to the international court, he told the BBC:
“On Thursday, October 14, 2021, the two sides had an official meeting online and the time was more than an hour. The Vietnamese government side had about 15-16 people. My side also had 6-7 people.
The delegation of the Vietnamese government consists of representatives from ministries, especially the Ministry of Justice, I also say that there was no representative of the government of Phu Yen province, because here is the representative of the Government, because the local did wrong, then I sued the central government. Last time, in the previous lawsuit, the Vietnamese side, besides the Ministry of Justice, also participated in a number of ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
Which country’s law firm is hired to help both parties?
When asked which law firms and where involved in the case between the two sides, Mr. Trinh Vinh Binh said:
“My side consists of two UK law firms, while the Vietnamese government uses a law firm in Washington D.C. USA.
First of all, two British law firms will help me in the content of the complaint related to the wrongdoing of the Phu Yen provincial government, and in other cases, step by step I will notify which firm, who will help me.
I also watch out for the case that the Vietnamese Government may have private access to the lawyer, the law office of the lawyer I hire, which is something I have noticed before, this time, whenever I ‘smelt’ it. that approach or I see there is something suspicious about someone influencing the attorneys, or law firm I hire, then I will know what to proactively do to deal with those approaches.”
Total compensation is expected to be claimed up to many billions of dollars?
When asked in this “second phase” lawsuit, which businessman Trinh Vinh Binh advocates and has taken action since October 14, 2021, how does he plan to claim compensation in the partial and total lawsuit, the one-time “Spring Roll King” from the Netherlands told the BBC:
“I estimated the damage to my investment projects in Phu Yen province, including invisible and tangible damages, the torture of my company and business establishments for many years, then forced me to regulations, forcing us to buy individual bills, losing our business opportunities, etc., combined, the number is not small.
I think that alone must be over $35 million, that is the initial and final statistics, and the big case related to my property, which I have appropriated, seized, and damaged, now Its value has reached over $4 billion.
And I told the Vietnamese government that I could agree with the Vietnamese government to discuss more than half of the amount that I proposed to compensate, that is, half of over $4 billion, and two parties can sit down and discuss with each other.
If not, this issue will have to go to court together to argue and hear the court’s decision, as I did last time and won the case,” Trinh Vinh Binh told the BBC on Wednesday.
What do observers, commentators say?
Also on October 20, 2021, some observers interested in the case shared their feelings with BBC News Vietnamese about this new development.
From Hoi An, economist Bui Kien Thanh said:
“This case is very complicated, but it can be briefly stated that the State of Vietnam has:
1/ Violation of Human Rights against Mr. Trinh Vinh Binh;
2/ Violating the investment provisions of the Vietnam/Netherlands Trade and Investment Treaty
3/ The Judgments of the First Instance and Appellate Courts of Vietnam are “Pocket Judgments” based on fabricated reports by a group of corrupted government officials.
4/ The details of the Agreement between the State of Vietnam and Mr. Trinh Vinh Binh (Singapore Agreement 2006) as well as the Award of the Paris Arbitration Court 2019, which stipulates the conditions of confidentiality, are not disclosed so the public does not have information to comment objectively.”
Economist Bui Kien Thanh said he hopes to have more information about the lawsuit in the near future.
From Hanoi, Assoc. Dr. Pham Quy Tho, a public policy researcher, told the BBC:
“I think there may not be or may not reach a separate agreement between Mr. Trinh Vinh Binh and the Government of Vietnam and the case continues to be complicated. This shows that the lesson about Vietnam’s foreign investment attraction policy is here. Vietnam has paid too high a price for the wrong decisions, practices and mistakes of the government, especially at the local level and related sectors.
In my opinion, the court is the place where justice and fairness are practiced. Mr. Binh has that right, especially when he takes it to the international court.
I find that, after the early years of being childish, the Vietnamese Government needs to learn from experience and amend the law, but there is still a situation that enforcement is too weak due to the capacity of officials. However, Vietnam’s government still keeps this case in secrecy, so it is not possible to learn widely from experience.
Therefore, if it does not change its thinking and behavior, the Vietnamese government will stumble and pay the price without helping itself to get out of the deadlock.”
From San Jose, California, USA, Doctor, Lawyer Nguyen Huu Liem told the BBC:
“Trinh Vinh Binh’s cross-century lawsuit against the Government of Vietnam is a sign of a time when the Vietnamese economy was just waking up in all the chaos, crudeness and ignorance of local senior officials. That chaotic identity carries international legal consequences to this day. I think luckily there was only one lawsuit. There should have been more.
The Vietnamese government should refer the case to a reputable international law firm in a serious spirit and with a reasonable intention of conciliation. In fact, the central government is also a victim of the corrupt economic practices of the local government decades ago. Now the investment situation is much different. Overseas Vietnamese are more careful and wise, local officials are also more knowledgeable about the law. A few people in Vietnam still treat foreign investors as they treated Mr. Binh as he did in the past.
In Vietnam now there is an international mediation center for such matters. What should be done when receiving large-scale investment is from the central level, not allowing local officials to act on their own. Both sides, the investor and the government, must work through lawyers and only follow the advice of reputable lawyers to protect the interests and reputation of all.”