|The defendants listen to sentence pronounced by the Điện Biên People’s Court. — VNA/VNS Photo Phan Tuấn Anh|
ĐIỆN BIÊN — Six men were sentenced to death for kidnapping, raping and murdering a 22-year-old girl in the northern mountainous province of Điện Biên yesterday.
Their public trial began on Thursday morning at a stadium in Điện Biên City and concluded on Sunday morning, with the court announcing the punishment for a total of nine defendants involved in the case of killing Cao Mỹ Duyên, which shocked the nation earlier this year.
Vì Văn Toán, 38, who was the mastermind of the crime, was sentenced to death for murder and 13 years for kidnapping and appropriation of property.
Bùi Văn Công, 44, was sentenced to death for murder, 14 years for raping, 13 years for kidnapping and appropriation of property, and 24 months for storing drugs.
Vương Văn Hùng, 35, was given the death penalty for murder, 10 years behind bars for raping, and 12 years for kidnap and appropriation of property.
Phạm Văn Nhiệm, 47, and Lường Văn Lả, 26, were sentenced to death for murder, 12 years for raping, and 11 years for kidnap and appropriation of property.
Lường Văn Hùng, 39, was condemned to death for murder, 13 years for raping, and 12 years for kidnapping and appropriation of property.
Phạm Văn Dũng, 47, and Cầm Văn Chương, 45, received 10-year and nine-year jail terms, respectively, for raping.
Bùi Thị Kim Thu, Công’s 44-year-old wife, was sent to prison for three years for failing to report the crimes.
According to police, Trần Thị Hiền, 44, the victim's mother, hired Công to deliver heroin and owed him VNĐ30 million (US$1,300). Công wished to take back the debt from Hiền.
Toán, whom Hiền allegedly owed VNĐ300 million ($13,000) for drugs since 2009, thought the woman would pay him the money to save her daughter. But Hiền refused to do so.
On January 4, 2019 – Lunar New Year's eve, after taking the girl to his house, Công and his gang, including Nhiệm, Lả, Hùng and Dũng, were believed to have taken turns to repeatedly rape Duyên for three consecutive days.
Hùng and Chương allegedly raped the victim once in the early hours of February 7 before she was strangled to death and left at an abandoned house near Công’s house.
Công’s wife, Thu, witnessed the girl being raped and killed by the men, but did not inform the police.
In another trial last month, Hiền was sentenced to 20 years in jail for her connection to a drugs ring which led to her daughter being kidnapped, raped and killed. She was found guilty of storing, transporting and illegally purchasing narcotics. — VNS