Blogger arrested for slander

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Investigators from the Ministry of Public Security have detained a blogger in Ho Chi Minh City for allegedly slandering the family of a senior police official on her blog.

An anonymous police source told Thanh Nien on Monday (November 1) that 35-year-old Le Nguyen Huong Tra will be detained for two months while she is under investigation for "abusing democratic rights to harm the nation, organization and individual" article 258 of the Penal Code.

On October 23, Tra, who blogged as Co gai Do Long (Do Long girl), was arrested and police carried out an inspection of her house on Banh Van Tran Street in Tan Binh District. Investigators said they confiscated several documents as evidence of the crime.

Investigators said Tra wrote a blog entry based on rumors where she slandered family members of Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Khanh Toan deputy minister of Public Security.

In her entry, Tra also raised questions about whether certain beauty queens and artists were "protected" because they were his son's lovers.

Police said Tra confessed to posting an incorrect entry on her blog, VnExpress news website reported.

Cao Minh Nhan, vice head of the Anti-Crime Police Division under the Ministry of Public Security, said Tra's action not only affected one individuals' reputation but also harmed an organization, according to VnExpress.

On October 31, Tra's mother and husband told the Tuoi Tre newspaper they had sent a letter of apology to Toan's family asking for forgiveness. Meanwhile, Toan refused to comment and said he would let the relevant agencies deal with the issue according to Vietnamese law, the paper said.

In 2008, Tra was faced with a lawsuit after pop-star Phuong Thanh accused her of defamation in two blog entries. The Tan Binh District People's Court dropped the case. An appeals court later demanded a fresh probe into the case. Investigations are still ongoing.

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