52 gangsters tried in Can Tho for murder

By Mai Tram, Thanh Nien News

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The courtroom at the Can Tho People's Court where 52 defendants were tried against murder charges on May 5. Photo: Mai Tram The courtroom at the Can Tho People's Court where 52 defendants were tried against murder charges on May 5. Photo: Mai Tram

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The Can Tho People’s Court Tuesday began the trial of 52 gangsters accused of involvement in a near murder in the Mekong Delta city nearly two years ago.
The crime occurred on May 30, 2013, after Tran Ngoc Tuan, 28, and his friends were singing at To Trinh Karaoke Parlor in the city’s Thot Not District, owned by Che Thi Le Trinh, 33.
A quarrel broke out after Tuan complained about the poor quality of the equipment.
Trinh told two guards, Le Thanh Tron and Lam Hoang Vu, and her father-in-law Nguyen Van Ban to lock the gates and “slash them [Tuan’s group] to death.”
Tuan sustained an injury in his right heel but he and his friends managed to scale the closed gate and flee.
Tuan reported the incident to Truong Phong Hien, a major local gangster.
Hien took more than 50 men, including some henchmen of Chau Ngoc Thuong, another gangster, to attack Trinh to avenge Tuan.
But the karaoke place was closed when the gang, armed with knives, machetes, iron tubes, and petrol bombs, arrived at around 8 PM the same day.
It is not known how Trinh knew about the gangsters’ plans.
The men then went to the house of Trinh’s parents, where they found her sister Che Hoang Viet and her friend To Van Tuan Em.
The gang attacked the two and left them unconscious.
Neighbors took the pair to a hospital where they were saved. Viet sustained 64 percent injuries and Em, 6 percent.
Vietnamese laws make no distinction between murder and attempted murder.
Many of the attackers were rounded up between June 2013 and April 2014.
Thuong and several other suspects are still at large.
In January the Thot Not People’s Court handed down jail terms of 3-15 months to Trinh and her group for causing injuries to Tuan.
Tuan, who was not involved in the attack, is being tried for not denouncing criminals.
The trial is expected to last five days.
The court had to put up a tent with 200 chairs outside the courtroom for relatives of the defendants because of the large number of accused, escorting officers, and lawyers.

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