|An ethnic minority worker harvests latex in Gia Lai Province. While the living standards of ethnic minorities have been improved by National Programme 135, it has not received adequate funding. —VNA/VNS Photo Duong Giang
HA NOI (VNS)—Minister-Chairman of the Government Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs Giang Seo Phu yesterday conceded there were shortcomings in implementing National Programme 135 on poverty alleviation.
Responding to questions raised by National Assembly deputies, he said funding for the programme was neither sufficient nor disbursed in a timely manner, delaying implementation and undermining effectiveness of the investment.
Regarding migration of ethnic minorities, Phu said comprehensive solutions were needed, including job creation and effective communication campaigns.
He also said localities affected by the influx or outflow of ethnic minorities should announce their population status and agriculture land-use plans so that people know where they can legally settle.
In another Q&A session on the complicated situation regarding drugs trafficking, Deputy Minister of Public Security Le Quy Vuong said ethnic minorities were still taking part in this illegal activity due to poverty and low education levels. The geographic factor was one of the challenges in tackling the problem, he said.
Earlier, deputies questioned Truong Hoa Binh, Chief Judge of the People's Supreme Court, on inquiries into wrongful convictions in criminal justice procedures and the matter of compensation.
Deputy Do Van Duong, from Ho Chi Minh City, asked Judge Binh to explain the case of Ho Duy Hai who was sentenced to death for allegedly killing two female postal workers at Cau Voi Post Office, in Long An Province, in March, 2008.
Binh said Duong was tried by the District Court of Thu Thua and then the Long An Provincial Court. Later, his death sentence was upheld by the Long An Provincial Court.
In addition, Duong's mother sent an appeal to President Truong Tan Sang to overturn her son's death sentence, but it was turned down.
Judge Binh said when he received an order from President Sang to review Hai's case to verify if he was wrongfully convicted of the double murder, the Supreme Court and the central prosecutor's office went to the prison where he was held to comprehensively review his dossiers and evidence in an objective manner. But, no faults were detected.
Judge Binh said his subordinates continued to review the documents and then came up with the decision to refer the case to an appeal court. Explaining why Hai's death sentence had not yet been carried out, Binh said besides legal procedures, it was important to respect his family's wishes and public opinion.
Referring to the case of Han Duc Long, from Bac Giang Province, who received the death penalty in 2005 for raping and killing a nine year old girl and then strangling her to death, Judge Binh said that after reviewing the case thoroughly, the Supreme Court decided to transfer the case to an appeal court.
Answering questions by some deputies whether certain evidence had been altered or corporal punishment applied, Le Quy Vuong, Deputy Minister of Public Security admitted it had sometimes happened.
He attributed the wrongful sentences to the poor capacity and low morality of police investigators. Vuong emphasised the need to apply the Law on State Compensation Liability to compensate citizens who were wrongly convicted. —VNS