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Man freed after more than 17 years in jail

Update: December, 03/2015 - 15:59
Huynh Van Nen (central) has been freed after spending 17 years in prison on murder charges. Photo

BINH PHUOC (VNS) — After spending more than 17 years in jail on murder charges, Huynh Van Nen has been declared innocent and freed from prison.

The People's Court of the southern Binh Phuoc City, where Nen lived, the provincial Procuracy Office and the Police Department also apologised to Nen this morning at the People's Committee of Tan Minh town in Ham Tan District.

A representative of the People's Court promised to compensate Nen for the huge losses he suffered due to its mistake, and also to learn from its mistake and improve its work.

Nen, in tears, said at the ceremony that he was happy to be recognised as being innocent, but was sad to see the ruined state of his family while his neighbours prospered over the last few years.

However, the 30-minute apology ceremony did not satisfy a large number of local people who attended the event. They said it was too short an apology for the 17 long years Nen spent in prison.

Nen, 53, who is now sick, was wrongfully convicted of two murders that happened in 1998 and in 1993.

According to the case file, Nen was arrested on May 17, 1998, for killing Le Thi Bong, a woman from Ham Tan District, on April 23, 1998.

During the investigation into the case, police indicted Nen for killing another local woman, Duong Thi My, on March 19, 1993.

In 2000, the provincial People's Court sentenced Nen to life imprisonment for murdering Bong and also condemned him to six years in jail for killing My. Nine relatives of Nen were also sentenced for alleged involvement in the murder of My.

However, several years later, law enforcement agencies found that Nen was not the killer of the two women.

Over the past several years, many lawyers have offered free legal consultancy and defence to Nen, demanding that police officers and the prosecutor's office clarify the issues related to the case.

Nen is the only man in Viet Nam to have been wrongfully convicted of two murders.

His lawyers are preparing dossiers to ask for compensation that is expected to amount to several billions of dong. — VNS

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