Mekong Delta official dismissed for taking part in deadly party

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Long An Province People's prosecutors' office have removed a district chief prosecutor from his post for his involvement in a deadly party last month.

Nguyen Kim Doan, chief of Can Giuoc District prosecutors' office, is being investigated for taking part in a party with other officials, including his deputy Nguyen Huong Giang, at which a 20-year-old woman drowned on August 20.

According to a Thanh Nien source, Doan has been transferred to the provincial prosecutors' office and is awaiting another job while the agency is still considering punishment for Giang.

On August 20, Doan and Giang went to a drinking party on a barge along the Vam Co River together with a dozen other people, including five women.

After drinking, some of the partygoers went swimming in the river. Dinh Thi Kim Phuong, who didn't join them because she couldn't swim, stayed on the barge.

When Nguyen Thi My Hang, who was bathing some five meters from the barge, heard someone fall into the river, she looked up at the barge but couldn't see Phuong.

The barge driver dove into the river but could not find Phuong.

The body of Phuong, who was married but separated, was found later by hired divers the same day.

Following Phuong's death, her mother Nguyen Thi Kim Khue told the Tuoi Tre newspaper that she doubted the death of her daughter was an accident.

Khue said she'd been told that Phuong's body was found wearing stockings as well as a mobile phone and a watch that her friend, who was swimming in the river, asked her to keep, so it was impossible for her to have jumped into the river to swim.

Meanwhile, some people said there was no chance for Phuong to have fallen into the river accidentally, given the height of the barge's barrier, Tuoi Tre reported.

Local police launched investigations and concluded that Phuong's death was an accident.

Following the police's initial findings, the Can Giuoc Party unit disciplined the two officials by asking them to review their actions.

Party inspectors said Doan and Giang seemed to have violated ethical norms.

Even though they didn't initiate the party, they didn't refuse to attend even upon finding out that among the women were two waitresses from a local karaoke service, they said.

Both Doan and Giang said that they didn't know most of the people who attended the party with them.

However, Tuoi Tre quoted several locals as saying that they had spotted Giang drinking with two women on board, including Phuong, in a previous instance.

Long An Province's Party unit has recently ordered a fresh investigation into the two officials' involvement in the party, adding that it has nothing to do with police's investigation into Phuong's death.

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