No pardon granted to Hanoi man who beheaded ex-girlfriend

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Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang has deniedclemency for a man who was sentenced to death in Hanoi last November for beheading and robbing his ex-girlfriend in a headline-grabbing case.

Nguyen Duc Nghia, 28, on November 15, 2011, sent a letter to the president seeking a pardon, but the appeal was rejected on Thursday.

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

According to the indictment, on May 4, 2010, Nghia asked Linh, then 26, 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 VND5 million.

Nghia was arrested on May 22, 2010, one day after police found Linh's naked, rotting body.

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At the trial by a Hanoi court on July 14, 2010, prosecutors said Nghia was a "cold-blooded murderer" and that he deserved "to be eliminated from society."

Nghia was sentenced to death and was ordered to pay VND113 million (US$5,931) in compensation to Linh's family.

After Nghia appealed to the Supreme People's Court, an appeals trial on November 11 last year upheld the death penalty for him.

Four days later, Nghia sent the letter to the State President seeking a pardon.

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