Stop hurting our family, says wife of disgraced ex-prosecutor

By Ngoc Truong   April 27, 2019 | 09:36 pm PT
Stop hurting our family, says wife of disgraced ex-prosecutor
The gate of Tran Thi Thanh Tam's family house was painted in black with the word au dam (paedophilia). It has now been erased. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Truong
Two days after complaining to the police that her family had been “humiliated,” the wife of child molestation suspect Nguyen Huu Linh withdrew it.

On Wednesday Tran Thi Thanh Tam, the wife of the disgraced ex-prosecutor, had filed the complaint with the Da Nang police, demanding an investigation into people who threw dirt and trash at her house and said hurtful things about her and her family on social media.

Earlier this month, elevator footage from an apartment building in Saigon’s District 4 showed Nguyen Huu Linh, a 61-year-old retired deputy chief prosecutor in the central city of Da Nang, came close to a little girl, before wrapping his arm around her neck and kissing her.

The incident sparked public outragec, especially over the lack of action taken against Linh, even two weeks after the footage was released. On April 21, 18 days after investigating and gathering evidence, Saigon police decided to press child molestation charges against Linh.

Linh’s actions, if deemed molestation of a person under 16, is punishable by six months to three years in prison under the Penal Code.

Tran Muu, deputy chief of the Da Nang Police Department, said the complaint of Linh's wife was understandable.

"Linh’s actions were wrong and he has to take responsibility before the law, but his family members do not. To paint and throw stuff at their house is wrong."

But Tran Phuoc Huong, head of the Hai Chau District police, said Saturday Tam withdrew her complaint without giving a reason.

But she had asked for increasing patrolling by officers to ensure her family’s safety, he said.

In a public letter published on social media and verified by the police, Tam said she and her children "could no longer withstand the pressure from the Vietnamese public."

The letter, posted on a Facebook fanpage Saturday, says: "The last 25 days have been the toughest and most painful time of our lives. As I write this letter, my children and I have temporarily left our residence for a while.

"I am aware that my husband’s actions were not right. We are sorry and we take responsibility....

"As a wife and a mother, I am partly responsible for this, but my children and grandchildren are innocent. This case has been a life sentence for our family," Tam wrote.

Angered by her husband Linh’s actions, people have been smearing his residence with dirt and trash, even painting au dam (paedophilia) on the house gate.

"You have made us so afraid, we do not dare to return to our own home and are fearful about walking on the street... Our lives are now upside down, our minds horribly scarred.

"I hope everything ends here, and you should no longer do things that hurt me and my childen," Tam wrote.

About 2,000 cases of child abuse are discovered in Vietnam every year, according to data from the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Over 1,500 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in the country in both 2018 and 2017, only showing slight improvements in child protection, a labor ministry report stated.

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