Former director of mental institution pleads insanity at corruption trial

Thanh Nien News

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A file photo shows Tran Thi That (2nd, L) closing her eyes during a court judging her and two other accused in March 2014. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre A file photo shows Tran Thi That (2nd, L) closing her eyes during a court judging her and two other accused in March 2014. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre

A court in the southern province of Tien Giang suspended proceedings against the former director of a psychiatric hospital after deeming her mentally unfit to stand trial.

Tran Thi That, the former director of the Tien Giang Psychiatric Hospital, was found to exhibit “symptoms of psychosis and appears unaware of her behavior.” 
The court suspended proceedings during her arraignment and remanded That to the Central Psychiatry 2 Hospital in Dong Nai Province’s Bien Hoa Town for treatment.
Police say she orchestrated a scheme to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospital funds.
The trial against her two alleged co-conspirators proceeded on Monday.
According to an indictment read in court, That directed To Van Dung, an accountant at the Tien Giang Psychiatric Hospital, to falsify records and issue a total of VND3.1 billion (US$146,000) “pharmaceutical payments” to five bank accounts.

The accounts’ owners never provided a single pill to the hospital’s pharmacy.

The proceeds, according to the indictment, were split between the two individuals; police say That got more than VND2.7 billion ($127,000) while the Dung received more than VND435 million ($20,500).

Dung, 31, was accused of corruption while Nguyen Van Linh, 41, another hospital accountant, was accused of criminal negligence.

That kept her eyes closed during a March hearing. She did not reply to questions from the jury and acted as if she couldn't hear a single word. 

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