Missing body from botched cosmetic surgery case recovered from Red River

By Ha An - Nguyen Tuan, Thanh Nien News

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Nguyen Manh Tuong (R) shows Hanoi police the place where he dumped the dead body of his patient Le Thi Thanh Huyen. Photo credit: Vtc.vn Nguyen Manh Tuong (R) shows Hanoi police the place where he dumped the dead body of his patient Le Thi Thanh Huyen. Photo credit: Vtc.vn

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A Hanoi's investigation police officer on Tuesday confirmed that the body recovered recently from the north end of the Red River was the same one reportedly thrown off a bridge by a doctor employed at one of Hanoi's most-famous hospitals last year.

DNA tests confirmed that a body fished out of the river on July 18 by locals matched with DNA samples taken from the father, mother and the eldest son of Le Thi Thanh Huyen, Senior Lieutenant-Colonel Vo Hong Phuong, deputy head of the Hanoi Police’s Social Crime Investigation Department, told a press conference in Hanoi Tuesday afternoon.

Huyen, 39, allegedly died on October 19, 2013 after undergoing a liposuction and breast enlargement surgery at the Cat Tuong Beauty Clinic, run by Dr Nguyen Manh Tuong, 41, a physician employed by the state-owned Bach Mai Hospital in the capital city.

On April 14, the Hanoi People's Court halted the proceedings against Dr. Tuong and ordered investigators to begin a fresh probe into the case.
Tuong and Dao Quang Khanh, 18, a security guard at the clinic, reportedly carried Huyen’s body to Thanh Tri Bridge and threw it into the Red River.
The recovery of Huyen's body is presumed to begin the trial anew after it was suspended due to a lack of key evidence.
Dr. Tuong was initially charged with defiling a corpse and medical malpractice; his security guard and alleged accomplice, Khanh, was charged with defiling a corpse and robbery.
The initial indictment prompted the woman's family to file a complaint with the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the country’s highest prosecutors' office, demanding that Tuong be charged with “murder.” 

Senior Lieutenant-Colonel Vo Hong Phuong of the Hanoi Police’s Social Crime Investigation Department speaks at a press conference in Hanoi on August 5. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre
Le Van Vien, Huyen’s father, told Thanh Nien the family would appeal any verdict that did not find Tuong guilty of the capital offense.

The family claimed that Tuong, acting alone, exhibited reckless disregard for his patient during every step of the three-stage procedure – administering anesthesia, administering the surgery and resuscitating the patient.

Huyen’s death prompted authorities to conduct a nationwide inspection of cosmetic surgery clinics.

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