The Hanoi People's Court on Wednesday opened the first-instance trial of Vietnam's banking tycoon Nguyen Duc Kien and his accomplices on charges of economic violations. The court later on decided to postpone the trial because of the absence of Tran Xuan Gia, one of Kien's eight accomplices and former Minister of Planning and Investment. The absence of Gia will not ensure the trial process, said the court, adding that the reopening of the case will be informed later. Kien, 50, co-founder of Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), one of Vietnam's biggest lenders, was taken into custody on August 20, 2012. According to the indictment, Kien and eight others have been charged with fraudulent appropriation of property, intentionally violating state regulations on economic management causing serious consequences, tax evasion and illegal business. A total of 23 lawyers will defend the accused, four of whom for Kien. The indictment stated that since 1993 Kien had owned nearly 3.8 percent of ACB shares, worked as vice chairman of ACB Board of Directors during 1994-2008 period and chairman of the Investment Committee of ACB during 2003-2012 period. From May 15, 2007 to August 3, 2012, Kien carried out illegal trading activities of gold and shares worth over 21 trillion Vietnamese dong (995 million U.S. dollars). Kien fraudulently appropriated property worth 264 billion Vietnamese dong (12 million U.S. dollars). Together with other defendants, Kien was accused of causing damage to ACB worth 690 billion Vietnamese dong (33 million U.S. dollars) through investing in the stock market, said the indictment.