A court in Ho Chi Minh City Tuesday delayed the trial of a local official's murder as a lawyer asked to recused from defending one of the two accused.
At the hearing in a packed court room, lawyer Pham Quoc Hung defending Nguyen Trong Nhan and Luong Hoai Sang, asked the HCMC People's Court to allow him to stop defending Sang, because the duo's testimonies contradicted each other.
The trial would be delayed until the HCMC Bar appoints a lawyer for Sang, the court said.
According to the indictment, on September 20 last year, Nhan, 31, and Sang, 21, took a taser and three knives with them when they went to meet Bui Ngo Thi My, head of Phu Nhuan District's Natural Resources and Environment Agency, at her house.
Nhan planned to convince My to spare wife, My's subordinate, who had been threatned with exposure and dismissal. When My refused to do Nhan's bidding, the duo attacked the official and her 25-year-old daughter, stabbing them several times.
Dang Thu Hong, deputy secretary of the Phu Nhuan Party Unit, happended to visit My at that time and was beaten and stabbed to death by the two men.
While admitting to assaulting the three women at the hearing, Nhan denied accusations that he had prior intent to kill My and rob her house.
Meanwhile, Sang told the court that Nhan asked him to attack My and force her to tell them where she kept her money.
Hung said the testimonies put the duo, who were arrested at the crime scene after My's cries for help were heard by some militiamen stationed nearby, in confict with each other.
Defending both of them at the same time would break regulations and violate professional ethics, Hung said.