Man falsely branded as murderer for over 40 years gets $77,800 compensation

By Viet Quoc   October 5, 2023 | 04:06 am PT
Man falsely branded as murderer for over 40 years gets $77,800 compensation
Do Thanh An (R), son of murdered victim Phan Thi Khanh, speaks with Vo Ngoc, son of wrongfully detained man Vo Te in Binh Thuan Province, June 2022. Photo by VnExpress
A deceased man in Binh Thuan Province, who was wrongfully detained 43 years ago for murder, will be compensated over VND1.9 billion ($77,840) by the provincial People's Procuracy.

65-year-old Vo Ngoc, the son of wrongfully accuised man Vo Te, said his family was informed of the compensation on Tuesday.

The central province's Procuracy would monetarily compensate Te and his loved ones for lost incomes, property losses, mental impacts and financial support for six of his children, who were under 18 at the point of his imprisonment, among other costs.

In 1980 Phan Thi Khanh, then 26, was murdered and had her gold stolen while on her way home from the field in Tan Phuc Commune, Ham Tan District.

The police of Ham Tan then detained Te, a herbalist who lived around 300 m from the scene of the crime, accusing him of murder and robbery. Five months after his detainment, he was released as the provincial police could not find enough evidence to charge him.

Since the day Te was detained, his family had lived in shame and was shunned by their neighbors. Te's children had to drop out of school. Te himself got sick and died in 1994.

In 2020, after years of gathering evidence to find his mother's murderer, Do Thanh An, Khanh's son, reported to the police of Binh Thuan that the true murderer was Truong Dinh Chi, who has since changed his name and addresses multiple times. Te's family was then helped by certain lawyers to file complaints to various authorities.

At the end of 2021, police of Binh Thuan, in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Security, found that Chi was living in nearby Phu Yen Province. Chi admitted to have murdered Khanh, but police of Binh Thuan could not charge him as the case had expired.

On June 17, 2022, representatives of the Binh Thuan police and the People's Procuracy admitted to have wrongfully detained Te.

Ngoc said the VND1.9 billion compensations will not be able to make up for all the physical and mental losses of the family, especially for his late father.

"But they have publicly apologized and restored my father's honor, so my family is happy," he said.

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