National sports complex loses $492,000 lawsuit

By Hoang Nguyen   October 4, 2023 | 01:58 am PT
National sports complex loses $492,000 lawsuit
My Dinh National Stadium inside the National Sports Complex in Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
The Hanoi People's Court has ordered the National Sports Complex to pay a company VND12 billion ($492,000) in compensation for violating a lease contract.

Hai Yen Company sued the complex for violating a contract signed in 2011 when Can Van Nghia was director of the complex before retiring in 2018, Thanh Nien Newspaper reported.

This is the third time the National Sports Complex has gone to court against Hai Yen. The previous two cases were dismissed and the court asked both sides to provide more evidence and data.

But this time around, the government inspector concluded that when Nghia was director, the complex had allegedly not complied with myriad state regulations.

According to a 10-year contract from December 2011 to December 2021, Hai Yen Company leased land in the complex for business. In 2019, the complex unilaterally terminated the contract and reclaimed the site for the construction of a racing track for an F1 racing tournament that was then cancelled.

Hai Yen has accused the complex of not negotiating, communicating directly or even notifying the company of the termination. Hai Yen representatives claimed that the firm only found out when the complex cut the electricity and water at the company’s leased facilities.

In 2017, the complex implemented several partial power cuts. By the end of 2019, it had completely cut off power on the properties leased by Hai Yen.

The current director didn’t sign the contract or order the cuts, but he still had to appear in court as a representative of the defendant.

At the end of the third trial, the People's Court of Nam Tu Liem District fined National Sports Complex VND12 billion for causing damage to the Hai Yen facilities, including breaking the firm’s air conditioning and thus allowing food to spoil in late 2017, when Nghia was still the director.

The complex has the right to appeal the verdict.

The National Sports Complex is currently facing multiple controversies. Leadership of the complex from 2009 to 2018 was allegedly involved in illegal manipulation of land tax debt and illegal spending, all of which the government claims caused losses to state budget revenue.

The amount of tax debt that the complex has to pay is nearly VND900 billion. Tax authorities have used their power to take funds directly out of the complex's account due to delinquent payment and prolonged tax debt.

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