Drunk Norwegian who caused fatal accident let off with fine in HCMC

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A Ho Chi Minh City court on Thursday let off a Norwegian man who crashed his motorbike into a Vietnamese woman and killed her with a fine of VND30 million (US$1,438).

Prosecutors had recommended a prison sentence, the Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reported.

Lars Bjronar Hanssen, 38, was ordered to pay VND30 million (US$1,438) on charge of violating traffic regulations. The HCMC People's Court found him guilty of "driving without a license" and "having excessive alcohol content in blood," the report said.

Prosecutors had pressed criminal charges against Hanssen under Article 202 of the Penal Code, which attracts jail terms of between 3 and 15 years.

They said in the indictment that his offence had "caused serious consequences" and "should be strictly punished."

According to the indictment, the accident happened in the early hours of November 16, 2011, when Hanssen was driving a motorbike under the influence of alcohol with his girlfriend riding pillion on Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, District 10, HCMC.

He hit an old woman named Tang Anh (age not revealed), who was standing on the roadside, killing her.

He later paid VND140 million ($6,713) as compensation to Anh's family, and was let out on bail until the trial.

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