Charges laid against five in murder case

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The Bac Giang provincial prosecutors' office has ratified charges against five people for aiding and abetting Le Van Luyen, an 18-year-old youth who has confessed to killing three people, including an infant, while robbing a gold shop last month.

On Monday (September 5), Bac Giang police told the media that Luyen was the only culprit in the murder of a couple and their 18-month-old daughter at the Ngoc Bich Gold Shop, where the family also lived, on August 24.

Le Van Mien, Luyen's father, and Truong Thanh Hong, Luyen's cousin, will be detained for more than two months on charges of harboring criminal, according to police conducting the investigation. Provincial prosecutors pressed charges against people in the case other than Luyen on Wednesday.

Truong Van Hop and Duong Thi Luoc Hong's parents and Le Thi Dinh, Luyen's aunt, face similar charges but they have been let out on bail.

According to police, after Luyen killed Trinh Thanh Ngoc, Dinh Thi Chin and their 18-month-old daughter, he stole more than 1,800 grams of gold, which Mien hid behind his house at Luyen's request.

Investigators said both Mien and his wife, Truong Thi Thom, knew that their son was the murderer but did not report the crime to police.

Thom was arrested on August 29 but has just been released as police said there was not enough evidence to charge her.

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Hong, Luyen's cousin, picked him up at the gold shop after he finished the killing and later drove him to a medical center to have his injuries treated, police said. Hong also helped Luyen escape police by driving him to a bus station, where Luyen took a bus to Lang Son Province on August 24.

Hop, Hong's father, knew Luyen was the murderer but he did not report to the police, according to investigators.

Luoc, Hong's mother, who was a nurse at the medical center Luyen visited, directly sutured Luyen's wounds and also knew the story but she kept silent, police said.

Dinh, Luyen's aunt, provided him a shelter at her house in Lang Son Province before he entered China, according to police.

On August 31, Luyen was arrested at Na Hinh, a border village in Lang Son, as he was returning to Vietnam from China.

He confessed to the police that he had killed the couple and their daughter with a knife and a double-edged sword before stealing all the gold in their shop.

On Monday, Senior Lieutenant-Colonel Le Van Dung of Bac Giang Province Police Department told the press Luyen had turned down an offer to choose a lawyer and a guardian during the testimony process and declined to explain why.  He added a lawyer will be appointed to defend Luyen, and a trial for this case is set to open next month.

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