|NA Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong said this at yesterday's meeting on the draft Law on the Organisation of Criminal Investigative Bodies. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Hoa
HA NOI (VNS) — Members of the National Assembly Standing Committee have agreed to allow the Fisheries Surveillance and Resources Department to act as an initial investigative body to more efficiently solve trade, environment and international relations problems that arise in the seas.
NA Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong said this at yesterday's meeting on the draft Law on the Organisation of Criminal Investigative Bodies.
NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said that the draft law should regulate the responsibilities of the department and impose sanctions if they fail to fulfill their tasks.
Deputy Public Security Minister senior lieutenant-general Le Quy Vuong made a controversial amendment proposal that would also permit initial investigative bodies in the General Department of Taxation and the State Security Commission of Viet Nam (SCC).
He reported that the number of crimes in the three sectors had increased and urged that they create investigative sub-units within the sectors to halt the increases.
Acting as initial investigative bodies, they would be allowed to conduct short investigations and then transfer their results to official investigative bodies.
A majority of the members of the steering Committee did not agree with the proposal, voicing that if each sector created their own investigative bodies, there would be considerable overlap with existent investigative agencies.
The country's current official criminal investigative bodies are branches within the People's Public Security Forces, the People's Army and the Office of the Supreme People's Procuracy.
Vice Head of the Party Central Committee's Commission for Internal Affairs, Nguyen Doan Khanh, said that new investigative bodies should be established to fix shortcomings of official investigative bodies only when the work is in difficult areas like the sea, or deals with difficult subject matter.
Lieutenant General Tran Dinh Nha, Vice Chairman of the NA Committee of Security and Defense, agreed and added some support for Vuong's idea. He said that the SCC should be empowered to investigate stock-related violations because of their unique expertise.
"Co-operation among bodies is important to avoid overlapping," Nha said, but clarified that they shouldn't create too many investigative units.
"The move is only needed in remote areas that official investigative bodies find difficult to reach," he said.
Draft law on custody
The NA Standing Committee also discussed the contents of the draft Law on Custody and Temporary Detention.
Chairman of NA Justice Committee Nguyen Van Hien said that under the current version of the draft, people who are put in custody or under temporary detention are allowed to meet with relatives without permission from investigative bodies.
The current law, however, stipulates that such meetings require permission and details the time and number of meetings allowed.
Chairman of the NA Committee on Ethnic Affairs Kso Phuoc said that lawmakers needed to carefully review and ensure that the new regulations ensures human rights.
The right to receive goods, to access information, to make a phone call and to receive letters also needed consideration, he said.
Chairman of NA Law Committee, Phan Trung Ly, questioned whether it was needed to handcuff and otherwise restrain people who are taken into custody or temporarily detained because they may be innocent.
Ly also advised that the draft stipulate that if a detainee dies while in temporary detention, their relatives should have the right to ask for a forensic examination that they can be witness to.
The draft says that complaints made by detainees during their custody should be submitted to and solved by the Supreme People's Procuracy.
Ly disagreed, suggesting that complaints be classified and sent to more appropriate agencies.
Nguyen Duc Hien, chairman of the NA's Ombudman Committee, agreed with the stipulations. — VNS