Appeal proceedings have begun for a group of men who were sentenced to death for kidnapping, raping and murdering a 22-year-old woman.
|Vi Van Toan at the appellate court on Tuesday in the northern province of Dien Bien.—VNA/VNS Photo Tuan Anh|
The shocking crime happened in January 2019 when the woman was abducted in retaliation over a drugs debt.
She was repeatedly raped and eventually strangled to death with her body left in an abandoned house in Dien Bien Province.
Nine defendants from Dien Bien Phu City were convicted of the crime in December 2019 but now they are appealing the severity of their sentences.
Vi Van Toan who was the ringleader, was sentenced to death for murder and 13 years for kidnapping and appropriation of property. Bui Van Cong was sentenced to death for murder, 14 years for rape, 13 years for kidnapping and appropriation of property, and 24 months for storing drugs.
Vuong Van Hung was given the death penalty for murder, 10 years for rape, and 12 years for kidnap and appropriation of property. Pham Van Nhiem, and Luong Van La were sentenced to death for murder, 12 years for rape, and 11 years for kidnap and appropriation of property.
Luong Van Hung was given the death penalty for murder, 13 years for rape, and 12 years for kidnapping and appropriation of property.
Pham Van Dung and Cam Van Chuong received 10-year and nine-year jail terms, respectively, for rape.
Bui Thi Kim Thu, Cong’s wife, was sent to prison for three years for failing to report the crimes.
According to police, Tran Thi Hien, 44, the victim's mother, hired Cong to deliver heroin and owed him VND30 million (US$1,300).
Cong then kidnapped her daughter to recoup his debt, but the mother never paid the ransom money.
Toan, whom Hien had allegedly owed VND300 million ($13,000) for drugs since 2009, thought the woman would pay him the money to save her daughter. But Hien refused to do so.
On January 4, 2019 – Lunar New Year's eve, after taking the girl to his house, Cong and his gang, including Nhiem, La, Hung and Dung, took turns to rape the woman for three consecutive days.
Hung and Chuong allegedly raped the victim once in the early hours of February 7 before she was strangled to death and left at an abandoned house near Cong’s home.
Cong’s wife, Thu, witnessed the girl being raped and killed by the men, but did not inform the police.
The trial panel consists of three judges. Bui Xuan Trong, is assigned to be the presiding judge and two prosecutors from the high-level People's Procuracy, based in Hanoi, will hold the right to prosecute.
Additionally, the trial panel also summoned the head of the provincial forensic centre, a forensic examiner of the Institute of Criminal Sciences of the Ministry of Public Security, an investigator of the provincial Police Department and other relevant people to participate in the court.
The appellate court was organised after Cao Van Huong, father of the victim, sent a letter of appeal to the high-level People's Procuracy, based in Hanoi. The letter said that some details had not been clarified.
Some defendants of the case also appealed to the trial court’s judgment and applied for lesser sentences.
In another development, the appeal case against Hien for the drugs related charges which led to her daughter being kidnapped, raped and killed, was postponed on Monday due to the absence of the lawyer. VNS
Six men were sentenced to death for kidnapping, raping and murdering a 22-year-old girl in the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien on Saturday.
A mother in Dien Bien Province has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for her connection to a drugs ring which led to her daughter being kidnapped, repeatedly raped and killed during the 2019 Lunar New Year holiday.