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Confession forces court to annul murder verdict

Update: November, 07/2013 - 09:39
Nguyen Thanh Chan.— Photo Doan Tan
HA NOI (VNS)  — The verdicts of the first instance and appeal in a murder case in northern Bac Giang province in 2003 was annualled yesterday for re-investigation.

The decision was made by the Council of Judges of the Supreme People's Court after accepting a proposal by the Prosecutor General of the Supreme People's Procuracy.

It was made at the review hearing of the Supreme People's Court in Ha Noi yesterday and will take effect immediately, according to Deputy Chief Judge of the Supreme People's Court Nguyen Son.

In the case, Nguyen Thanh Chan, 52, was sentenced to life in 2004 for killing a woman, but on October 25, 2013, the real culprit, Ly Nguyen Chung, 25, also from the province, turned himself in to police and admitted that he committed the crime.

The Review Council said that this was a new circumstance that changes the entire nature of the case.

Within 15 days, the case file will be transferred to the competent People's Procuracy for re-investigation.

Earlier on Monday, the Prosecutor General of the Supreme People's Procuracy, Nguyen Hoa Binh, signed a decision asking for the review of the verdict on Chan.

Meanwhile, the vice head of the agency, Le Huu The, issued another decision to suspend the sentence enforcement. Chan was released the same day.

According to the file, Bac Giang police in December 2003 indicted Chan for killing a female villager named Nguyen Thi Hoan and in March 2004, the provincial People's Court began a trial for Chan, sentencing him to life imprisonment.

Chan then appealed, affirming that he was innocent. However, at the appeal hearing, the Supreme People's Court upheld the life sentence.

During his 10 years in prison, he had sent a number of letters to jailers saying that he didn't kill Hoan on the night of August 15, 2003.

He alleged that the killer was in fact Ly Nguyen Chung.

On July 5, 2013 , Chan's wife also sent a letter to the Investigation Department of the Supreme People's Procuracy, reiterating these claims.

After receiving the letter, investigators conducted an intensive investigation of Chung, prompting him to go on the run.

During the two-month investigation, the officers found that Chung used nearly 100 different mobile phone cards and frequently changed his hiding place.

On October 25, 2013 , Chung gave himself up and admitted his crime.

Based on the results of the investigation and interview with Chung, on October 29 2013, the Supreme People's Procuracy issued a decision to hold the first hearing for Chung on charges of "murder" and "robbery". — VNS

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