HCM CITY — A court in the Mekong Delta province of Long An yesterday sentenced to life imprisonment a woman who confessed to murdering her husband, a journalist, by setting him on fire while he was sleeping.
The court found Tran Thuy Lieu, 41, guilty of dousing her husband Le Hoang Hung with petrol and setting fire to him on January 19, 2011. The 51-year-old journalist was asleep in his bed on the second floor of his home in Long An.
Hung was a reporter with the HCM City-based Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourer) newspaper, covering social, crime and corruption issues. He died on January 29, 2011, at HCM City's Cho Ray Hospital.
Lieu told the court that she had not intended to kill her husband, only to "give him a warning." She said he used to beat her often for gambling in Cambodian casinos and piling up debts.
She also told the judges that she committed the crime alone, without any assistance.
The case had attracted a lot of controversy over Lieu allegedly having had an accomplice, a former official who is said to have accompanied her on her gambling trips across the border into Cambodia.
Lieu was having an extra-marital affair with the official who was dismissed from his post after investigations into the murder.
The family of Hung, their lawyer and the journalist's employers had called for a fresh probe into the case, insisting that his wife could not have acted alone and that justice would not be done until the entire truth of the matter was revealed and all culprits punished.
The police, who were ordered to re-investigate the murder, reiterated their initial conclusions, and filed murder charges against Lieu last July. — VNS