Officials' roles probed in jail inmate's pregnancy

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A Ministry of Public Security official has said authorities in a southern prison are probing the possible role of guards in a case in which an inmate became pregnant.

Major General Ho Thanh Dinh, chief of the ministry's 8th General Department, quoted a report by An Phuoc prison authorities in Binh Duong Province as saying that Huynh Thi Giang Kieu, 29, once had sex with a man in a rubber plantation while working there under a labor program for inmates.

"The report said that because the garden was too large (10 ha), mistakes occurred," news website Phap Luat TPHCM (Law HCMC) quoted him as saying.

Kieu discovered that she was pregnant but hid it from guards who did not detect it until 20 days before her delivery on July 26, he said.

The man, a former prisoner, knew Kieu from when he was serving time at An Phuoc, he added.

Earlier it was suspected that Kieu got pregnant through conjugal visits, which Vietnamese laws allow only for spouses. The prison authorities later said she was single.

Meanwhile, Kieu told authorities that she took the "risk" to have a baby because she feared she would be too old to marry after completing her sentence.

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She has served eight-and-a-half years out of a 13-year term she got for selling drugs.

It is not known yet if she can delay her jail term until the baby reaches three as allowed by the law.

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