Vietnamese man gets 18 months in jail for sending death threats to Da Nang leader

By Staff reporters   February 9, 2018 | 07:21 pm PT
Dao Tan Cuong claimed authorities' inspection of his family's villa land had damaged his reputation.

A court in Da Nang on Friday sentenced a deputy director of a local state-owned company to 18 months in prison for sending death threats to the city's chairman Huynh Duc Tho, according to Vietnam News Agency.

Dao Tan Cuong, deputy director of the Da Nang branch of Petrolimex Aviation Fuel JSC., was found guilty of sending threatening text messages to Tho and Tran Phuoc Son, chief of staff of the city's People's Committee.

According to the indictment, Cuong's family owns a plot of villa land on Son Tra Peninsula under his wife's name. However a neighbor in 2015 lodged a complaint claiming Cuong's brother Dao Tan Bang, a former chief of staff of Da Nang's Communist Party unit, is the land's real owner and had encroached onto his land.

While an inspection at the time found no evidence of violation, authorities kept receiving complaints against Bang every time he was recommended for a promotion or transfer, prompting another inspection to be launched.

As the second inspection allegedly damaged Cuong and his brother's reputation, Cuong last July decided to take revenge on Son, who he believed suggested the inspection and Tho, who signed the decision.

Cuong bought an used mobile phone and sim cards, then proceeded to send death threats via text messages Tho and Son.

After sending the messages, Cuong disposed of both the phone and the sim cards.

The threatening messages caused Tho and Son to be in constant fear for their lives, prompting them to change their schedules and be placed under police protection.

At the trial, Cuong admitted to being the author of the threatening text messages but claimed he was only using idioms and did not plan to kill anyone.

Under Vietnam’s Penal Code, a person who sends death threats can be convicted if they cause the recipient undue concern or if there is evidence that they will carry out the threats.

Last month, a court in the northern province of Bac Ninh sentenced a man to 3 years in prison for sending threatening messages to the provincial chairman and police chief after his company was restricted from river dredging over environmental concerns.

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