Fugitive hid in plain sight as court official for 26 years

By Pham Du   December 3, 2019 | 03:00 am PT
Fugitive hid in plain sight as court official for 26 years
Cao Phong District People's Court in Hoa Binh Province, where a fugitive has been working for 26 years. Photo by VnExpres/Pham Danh.
A secretariat chief at a district-level court in Hoa Binh was a man wanted for 26 years for sabotaging a hydropower plant.

Last Saturday, the police chief of the northern province of Hoa Binh said his unit has arrested Nguyen Quang Huy, 46, in connection with the destruction of buildings and works important to national security. The crime was committed in 1993.

At the time of his arrest, Huy was the Chief of the Secretariat and trial clerk of the Cao Phong District People's Court.

After graduating with a law degree, Huy found work in the the province's Yen Thuy District court. After the district was split in 2002, Huy was transferred to the People's Court of Cao Phong District, Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, the court's chief judge said Monday.

Huy was a conscientious employee and received a certificate of merit from the chief judge of the People's Court of Hoa Binh Province, she added.

"Huy had finished the course to become a judge, but we haven't completed the appointment process because this is under the jurisdiction of the provincial court. We only manage personnel," Ha said.

Huy was recruited to be a civil servant with the court in 2000. At the time, his profile was managed by the Department of Justice of Hoa Binh Province, said Nguyen Thanh Tung, Head of Personnel at the People's Court of Hoa Binh.

Tung said that when officials were transferred to his court in 2003, he had received Huy's profile, but "the file did not contain any information related to the defendants wanted status," adding that he had trusted the original document.

Huy's wife said she married Huy in 2005 not knowing that her husband was a wanted man. Huy was even admitted to the Communist Party in 1999 and later recruited to be a civil servant.

Huy's arrest has shocked the family and left them depressed, she said.

According to Hoa Binh police, Huy and four others had sabotaged a building at the Hoa Binh hydropower project in 1993. While the four accomplices were indicted and tried for demolition of buildings that affects national security, Huy had managed to escape.

At the time of writing, the police had provided no details about the motivation behind the crime or the results of the trial held 26 years ago.

Huy was found out as authorities were vetting the identity of Huy's younger sister, who works with the police department in Hanoi.

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