Viet Nam News
BÌNH THUẬN – The Bình Thuận People’s Court announced that it would give Huỳnh Văn Nén a compensation of VNĐ10 billion (US$444,400) for jailing him for 17 years on two wrong murder convictions.
The compensation was declared on Tuesday at a press conference held by the court. Nguyễn Thị Hiệp Hòa, deputy chief judge of the provincial people’s court, said that during their seventh negotiation, on January 12, Nén asked for a compensation of VNĐ11 billion ($488,800). The court proposed a lower figure of VNĐ10 billion, to which Nén finally agreed.
The court said it faced several obstacles arriving at the figure as the country’s laws on compensation were not detailed enough. For instance, the rules did not specify the amount of compensation for someone wrongfully convicted for two crimes like Nén was, nor for other losses such as prestige, honour, and spiritual damage.
At the press conference, Biện Văn Hoan, chief judge of the provincial people’s court, apologised to Nén for being unjustly investigated, prosecuted and sentenced. The mistakes made were serious, he said.
Nén was arrested on May 17, 1998, for killing Lê Thị Bông, a woman from Hàm Tân District, on April 23 the same year. During investigations, the police indicted Nén for killing another woman, Dương Thị Mỹ, on March 19, 1993.
In 2000, the provincial people’s court sentenced Nén to life imprisonment for murdering Bông and condemned him to six years in jail for killing Mỹ. Nine relatives of Nén were also sentenced for their alleged involvement in Mỹ’s murder.
However, several years later, law enforcement agencies found evidence that showed Nén was not the killer.
In the past several years, many lawyers have offered free legal consultancy and defence to Nén, and demanded that police officers and the prosecutor’s office clarify all the issues related to the case.
Nén is the only man in Việt Nam to have been wrongfully convicted of two murders. – VNS