Ex-officers get suspended sentences after one died in illegal police custody

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Le Mang Nam (L) and Tran Dang Tung Le Mang Nam (L) and Tran Dang Tung

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Two senior police officers at a town in central Vietnam on Thursday received suspended sentences for illegally detaining a man who died in police custody in March 2013.
The court of Dak Nong Province found that Le Manh Nam, former deputy police chief of Gia Nghia Town, and Tran Dang Tung, former chief police investigator of the same town, had kept three people in custody for more than two days without warrant.
Nam was given a two-and-half-year suspended sentence, and Tung a two-year suspended sentence.
The three people, Hoang Van Ngai, Sung A Tu and Hoang Van Pa, were arrested on March 15, accused of illegal logging by officers of Gia Nghia Town police.
But late on March 17, a police officer found Ngai lying unconscious in his cell block. He was rushed to a local hospital where doctors said Nghia had died before reaching the facility.
Doctors said the cause of death was electric shock.
Only then did Nam and Tung issue a backdated warrant to make the arrests legal. They also released the other two people.
The police of Dak Nong Province considered Nghia's death a suicide, and did not hold Nam and Tung responsible for it.
Nghia's family filed a complaint. As a result, investigators of the Ministry of Public Security re-investigate the case and arrest Nam and Tung in July 2014.

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