Prosecutors delay charges in journalist murder trial

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Prosecutors in the southern province of Long An Thursday said they have decided to delay charging a woman for murdering her husband, a former reporter, Tuoi Tre reported Friday.

Cao Minh Tri, spokesman of the provincial People's Procuracy, told the newspaper that the case was so complicated that even though 30 days had passed, his team was not yet ready  to prosecute Tran Thuy Lieu, 40.

Prosecutors in Vietnam are normally allowed 30 days for their investigations before a trial. 

According to police reports, on January 19, Lieu set her husband Le Hoang Hung, a former journalist for Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper, on fire after he had beaten her and accused her of having an affair.

Hung died ten days later due to severe burns.

In a proposal submitted to prosecutors late last month, police also said Lieu tried to make it look like some one had broken into their house with a rope and set her husband on fire.

But Tri said that his agency had received a letter from lawyer Nguyen Van Duc, representative of Hung's mother Nguyen Thi Kim Hoang, asking prosecutors to reject the charges proposed by police and order a fresh investigation into the case.

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In the letter, Duc pointed out a variety of contradictions apparent in police reports, and argued that there were signs that police had failed to pinpoint other suspects, according to the spokesman.

Nguyen Van Tam, former chief of the provincial Market Management Team No.5, is also a suspect in the case due to his alleged affair with Lieu.

He was found visiting Lieu's house twice, and phoning her on several occasions to discuss plans to mislead investigators.

However, in their conclusions submitted to the court, police didn't mention Tam at all.

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