Investigation dropped in fatal dog attack

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A dead woman's family has several questions as to why police have dropped an investigating into allegations that a coffee farm manager purposefully allowed guard dogs to kill the woman in the central highlands.

In a press release issued on Wednesday, police said Pham Ngoc Thanh, who raised the Berger dogs on his coffee farm in H'drat village, Buon Ma Thuot, where the incident took place, had already erected a signboard warning of fierce dogs.

But, Pham Thi Ngan and two other women still entered the farm to collect coffee seeds without permission on January 21, said police.

Police also dropped the accusation that Nguyen Dinh Son, who was believed to manage the dogs and the farm, didn't help Ngan when she was attacked.

Seeing Ngan and others enter the farm, Son, who was watering trees with another two workers, asked them to get out of the farm before he left the area, police said.

When Son came back, he heard somebody scream and found Ngan had been killed by the dogs.

Thanh had paid the victim's family VND120 million (US$6,495) for her burial, police said.

However, Giang Thi Diep and Nguyen Thi Thanh Tram, who accompanied Ngan on that day and managed to escape from the dogs by climbing up trees, insisted that Son was present when the dogs were attacking Ngan, but he left without offering the 55-year-old woman any help despite her cries for help.

Son returned to the farm 30 minutes later and called Thanh's wife to inform her of the incident, according to the women.

"Investigators have questioned us tens of times and we always said that Son was on the spot when the dogs attacked Ngan. But the investigators conclusions said different things," Diep said.

Vu Thi Hue, who lives behind Thanh's farm, said she and her two daughters also went into the farm to collect coffee seeds on that day, just 20 minutes after Ngan and others, but Son told them to leave or the dogs would bite them.

Before the incident happened, signboards warning about fierce dogs had never been erected, Hue said, adding that they were only set up on the day Ngan was buried.

"Obvious evidences and witnesses have told police many times that Son didn't give my mother a hand when she was in danger. I don't understand why police came to such conclusions,"  said Nguyen Van Khoi, Ngan's son.

In the meantime, Buon Ma Thuot Town People's Procuracy said they had yet to be informed of police's decision to drop the investigation, which was finalized February 11, although it is regulated that such decisions must be sent to the judicial agency immediately following their issuance.

Source: Tuoi Tre

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