Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — National Assembly (NA) Judicial Committee Chairwoman Lê Thị Nga has ordered reassessment of the appellate judgement on 76-year-old Nguyễn Khắc Thuỷ accused of being a paedophile.
Nga gave this order to the Chief Justice of Việt Nam’s Supreme People Court and the Prosecutor General of the Supreme People’s Procuracy at the NA Standing Committee’s meeting on Monday.
Nga stressed upon the significance of a harsh punishment in the context of child sexual abuse being on the rise in the country. Moreover, as reported by newspaper and media agencies, Thuỷ committed the criminal act multiple times, and his attitude in the court was also questionable. Which is why the verdict of an 18-month probation for Thuỷ has caused public uproar.
“We have asked the Chief Justice and the Prosecutor General to conduct a probe to properly handle the case. The public is concerned about why Thuỷ’s Party membership should become a mitigating factor to ease his sentence. It is definitely inappropriate. It is also impossible to switch from imprisonment to probation because the accused is over 70s years old. The older people are, the more exemplary they should be,” Nga said.
NA Ombudsman Committee Chairwoman Nguyễn Thanh Hải also asked law-enforcement forces to consider public opinion while handling the case.
Last week, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province’s People’s Procuracy delivered an urgent report to the Supreme People’s Procuracy on Thuỷ’s case.
The report follows the appeal on May 11 in which the provincial People’s Court handed Thuỷ a probation of 18 months.
In its report sent to the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the provincial People’s Procuracy affirmed that its indictment and verdict were accurate. Simultaneously, they considered aggravating and mitigating circumstances in deciding the sentence.
Meanwhile, HCM City Association for Children’s Protection submitted a report to the Supreme Court in HCM City, demanding a probe on the paedophile.
Lawyer Trần Thị Ngọc Nữ, head of the association, told Infonet e-newspaper that the probation sentence was lenient compared to the crimes committed by Thuỷ many times.
In 2014, Vijay, a foreign resident of Lakesie Apartment in Nguyễn An Ninh District, Vũng Tàu Province, witnessed Thuỷ sexually abusing children in the apartment area and reported the matter to the district police. However, the report is assumed to be “lost”.
In mid-2016, Thuỷ was accused by Trần Thị Thu Thuỷ, mother of a six-year-old, for sexually assaulting her child. Other child victims then came out to speak against the defendant.
Investigation into the case was launched in August 2016. In February 2017, GOLD KEY law firm, the plaintiffs’ representative, sent an urgent request to President Trần Đại Quang, mentioning that the case was particularly serious.
In July 2017, Vũng Tàu City People’s Court sentenced Thuỷ to three years imprisonment on charges of child sexual abuse. After that, Thuỷ submitted a petition asking for an appeal trial. — VNS