Forensic director falsifies reports to help people suspend jail sentences

By Pham Linh   May 7, 2024 | 10:57 pm PT
Forensic director falsifies reports to help people suspend jail sentences
Pham Ngoc Phuong, director of the Quang Ngai forensic center, stands before the Quang Ngai People's Court, May 7, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Linh
The director of a forensic center in Quang Ngai Province is on trial for taking bribes to falsify reports, which enabled five people to get their jail sentences suspended.

Pham Ngoc Phuong, 54, was in the dock at the Quang Ngai People's Court on Tuesday for bribery, while Nguyen Ba Nhat, a former judge, and Do Van Thuong were tried for brokering bribery.

Ha Tran Vu, Nguyen Thanh Tin and Mai Van Hoc were accused of giving bribes.

In 2016 Vu was sentenced to two years in jail for deliberately inflicting bodily harm on another person, and sought Nhat's help to get the sentence suspended.

Nhat said he would find someone to falsely prove Vu was severely ill at the time of the attack.

Nhat took VND20 million (US$786) from Vu, and persuaded Phuong to falsify forensic reports stating that Vu had "chronic tuberculosis" for VND10 million. Nhat then pocketed the other VND10 million.

Vu submitted the false forensic report to the Quang Ngai People's Court to request a suspension of the sentence. However, the court saw that Vu’s conditions have not met the requirements for suspension, and so requested a re-examination.

Phuong redid the report, which said that Vu had "chronic tuberculosis with multi-drug resistance, requiring long periods of treatment." Vu was then approved to have his sentence delayed by a year. Once the suspension period was about to run out, Vu asked Nhat to falsify papers again for VND20 million. In total, papers were falsified three times (2017-2019).

On February 21, 2020, the Quang Ngai Procuracy appealed the jail time suspension for Vu handed out by the Quang Ngai People’s Court, as the Quang Ngai forensic center did not have the authority for medical evaluation.

Similarly, Pham Ngoc Tien had to serve a two-year jail sentence for stealing. At the time of the sentencing, Tien was the sole breadwinner of the family, so the Tu Nghia District People’s Court allowed the jail sentence to be suspended for one year. Once the period was about to run out, Tien came to Nhat for his help to suspend the sentence, for a total of three times. For Tien, Phuong falsified forensic reports which said that Tien had severe kidney failure, for VND13 million.

On April 8, 2022, Tien began to serve his sentence, and was released early on August 2, 2023.

In Tin's case, he had to serve a nine-month sentence in 2022 for deliberate destruction of property, so he went to Thuong to ask Phuong to falsify forensic reports.

Phuong then brought a relative with severe kidney failure for a check-up, but said their name was Nguyen Thanh Tin, which helped Tin suspend his sentence. For the deed, Phuong received VND20 million from Tin, and Thuong gained VND4 million.

From 2016 to 2022, through Nhat and Thuong, Phuong had multiple times received bribes totaling to VND97 million to falsify forensic reports and help people suspend their jail sentences.

A sentencing is expected on Thursday.

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