Vietnam charges former cops for fatal beating of traffic violator

By Cuu Long   March 13, 2019 | 04:45 pm PT
Two former cops who beat a drunk suspect to death in Can Tho last August were officially charged on Tuesday.

Bui Duc Nghia, 32, and Nguyen Tuan Anh, 30, face seven to 14 years in jail under Vietnam’s Penal Code for the charges of "intentionally inflicting injuries."

Nguyen Chi Hieu, 29, died from multiple injuries sustained while in police custody in Can Tho City’s O Mon District in August last year.

Nghia and Anh were arrested two months later, after Hieu’s family filed a complaint and demanded a criminal investigation into his death.

After an investigation, it was decided that charges would be pressed against the two former police officers for deliberately inflicting injuries that led to death.

According to the indictment, the district traffic police officers asked Hieu to stop for an alcohol test after finding him driving under the influence.

However, Hieu failed to submit to the test and refused to sign the police report on his violation. He was then taken to the police station where Nghia beat him ferociously for not cooperating with the police. Then, Nghia and Anh dragged him to the street and beat him up again.

He returned home the next morning and complained of pain all over his body. He was rushed to the hospital where doctors said he had sustained severe injuries.

He died on August 13, four days after being interrogated by the police.

Several instances of suspects dying in police custody have been reported across Vietnam in recent years.

Five policemen in Ninh Thuan Province last year were jailed for three to seven years for beating a male prisoner to death.

In 2016, a court in Ho Chi Minh City sentenced a former traffic police officer to 12 years in prison for asking thugs to beat a traffic violator to death, following an argument.

In late 2012, the World Bank released the results of a survey in which 5,460 Vietnamese respondents overwhelmingly identified the traffic police as the most corrupt group of individuals in the country.

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