Hanoi's body-dumping cosmetic surgeon files appeals malpractice rap

By Ha An, Thanh Nien News

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Nguyen Manh Tuong stands in a Hanoi courtroom on December 4, 2014. Photo: Ha An Nguyen Manh Tuong stands in a Hanoi courtroom on December 4, 2014. Photo: Ha An

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The Hanoi plastic surgeon convicted of dumping his dead patient's body into a river appealed his 19-year sentence this month.
In an appeal sent to the Hanoi People's Court on Sunday, Nguyen Manh Tuong claimed he had been wrongly convicted and excessively punished.
“The trial made it look as though I've committed multiple offenses,"  the 41-year-old doctor said.
"The indictment is incorrect on many points.”
Tuong, who ran the Cat Tuong Cosmetic Clinic, was held responsible for the death of Le Thi Thanh Huyen who expired in the middle of a liposuction and breast enlargement surgery he administered.
After she expired, Tuong and one of his employees dumped her body into the Red River.
At the trial on December 4 and 5, Tuong pleaded guilty to desecrating a corpse, but pleaded not guilty to medical malpractice.
Tuong argued that the forensic tests conducted on Huyen failed to determine the cause of her death. Her body, he argued, was recovered from a river ten months after it had been dumped and would have proven unfit for a forensic autopsy.
The judicial panel responded that they had sufficient evidence to conclude Tuong had ultimately caused Huyen's death.
They noted that he wasn’t qualified or authorized to conduct the procedures and had failed to monitor her circulation or ask questions about her allergies to antibiotics prior to the procedure.
The court sentenced him to 14 years for medical malpractice and five years for descrating Huyen's corpse.
The court of the first instance did not convict him of murder after concluding that he had not acted out of malice.
Dao Quang Khanh, 18, a clinic security guard who helped Tuong dump the body, got two years and nine months for desecrating a corpse and robbery.
The court found that Khanh had stolen an iPhone he found on the patient's body.
Huyen, 39, died on October 19, 2013 at Tuong’s clinic.
The police immediately put Tuong and Khanh under investigation. Their trial was delayed until last August, when police recovered Huyen’s body downstream.
The court barred Tuong from practicing medicine for five years after he completes his sentence and asked him to pay the victim’s family more than VND585 million (US$27,400) and give each of her children VND1 million a month until they turn 18.

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