Murderer of ex-girlfriend pleads for lighter sentence

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A man who was sentenced to death in Hanoi last month for beheading and robbing his ex-girlfriend in a headline-grabbing case has lodged an appeal, asking for lighter punishment.


The latest move by 26-year-old Nguyen Duc Nghia was unexpected, because at a trial on July 14, Nghia had tearfully said he wouldn't lodge an appeal because "death isn't enough to make up for the crime I have committed."


In his appeal, Nghia asked for a review of the indictment at the first trial which concluded that he killed Nguyen Phuong Linh in a deliberate, cruel act that deserved the death penalty.


According to the indictment, on May 4 this year, Nghia asked Linh to meet him at his new girlfriend's apartment on the 11th floor of the G4 building in Cau Giay District, while the latter was visiting her hometown.


Nghia and Linh had started a romantic relationship in 2006 and broken up one year later.


After Nghia and Linh made love, he stabbed her to death. Then he cut off her head and fingers before wrapping her torso in a blanket and stashing it on the building's rooftop. After disposing of the body parts in different places, he pawned her motorbike, laptop and mobile phone for money.


At the hearing by Hanoi's People's Court, prosecutors said Nghia was a "cold-blooded murder" and that he deserved "to be eliminated from society."


In an interview with news website VnExpress, lawyer Ngo Ngoc Thuy, who defended Nghia at the hearing, said the appeal will help prolong the time before Nghia's sentence is carried out, and give his family more chances to see him.


Nghia's father, meanwhile, told the news source that even though the chances aren't high, they still hope that their son would escape the death sentence.

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