2 policemen receive jail terms for beating suspects into false murder confession

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Two police officers and a prosecutor stand trial in the southern province of Soc Trang on Wednesday for the unlawful arrests and abuses of seven suspects in a murder case.  Photo credit: Tuoi Tre Two police officers and a prosecutor stand trial in the southern province of Soc Trang on Wednesday for the unlawful arrests and abuses of seven suspects in a murder case. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre

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A court in the southern province of Soc Trang on Wednesday sentenced two police officers to prison for unlawfully arresting seven people and beating them during a murder investigation in 2013. 
It handed down a two-year jail term to Trieu Tuan Hung while his fellow officer Nguyen Hoang Quan received one and a half years. 
At the end of the four-day trial, Pham Van Nui, a former provincial prosecutor who approved the charges against the seven suspects, was sentenced to one year probation for irresponsibility.
According to the indictment, Hung and Quan repeatedly beat and kicked Tran Van Do and Thach So Phach, two of the suspects, during interrogations between July 14 and 20, 2013. The officers were also accused of pressing ice cubes onto the suspects' genitals.
The suspects then confessed that they killed a xe om motobike taxi driver, who was found dead earlier on July 6 with several stab wounds. 
But later that year, a teenage girl showed up and admitted to the crime, saying she and her girlfriend robbed and killed the driver. 
The original suspects were released in February 2014. They said they were beaten and made false confessions. 
Phan Huu Thuy, spokesman for Soc Trang Police, later admitted that the team was eager to wrap up the case, leading to “hasty” detentions.
A total of 25 police officers involved in the case were censured and demoted last June.
Prosecutors in Soc Trang Province in January paid out nearly VND500 million ($23,435) in compensation to the seven people who were detained and beaten.

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