Court in Central Vietnam apologizes for 14-year prison sentence

Thanh Nien News

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A tribunal in the central province of Quang Binh officially apologized to a woman on May 9 for wrongfully sentencing her to 14 years in prison and paid  VND171 million (around US$8,000) in compensation.

Judge Tran Huu Sy confirmed that the provincial court conviction violated the law and has caused great injury to local woman Le Thi Thanh Binh.

The 31- year old woman was found guilty in 2012 of wrongfully appropriating 51 taels of gold from the Kim Hoan jewelry company in Dong Hoi Town -- where Binh had worked as a saleswoman since 2006.

In February 2010, the store manager inspected the gold jewelry under Binh's management and claimed she'd lost the gold based on bookkeeping records from December 2009.

Binh was arrested and placed into custody by the Quang Binh police who accused her of appropriating others' properties in October 2010.  

A court in February 2012 sentenced her to an additional 14 years and ordered her to pay compensation of VND1.7 billion (nearly $80,000) to the jewelry company.

Binh appealed the decision and the Da Nang Supreme Court of Appeals dismissed the Quang Binh court's ruling in June 2012, on the grounds that the junior court's conviction had been rendered without sufficient evidence.

Binh was released on bail in August 31, 2012 and the Quang Binh police suspended an investigation of the case three months later.

Binh spent 22 months in prison; it remains unclear what happened to the missing gold.

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