A Hanoi court on Wednesday sentenced seven former police officers to between 18 months and four years in prison for beating a locksmith suspected of being a motorbike thief to death last year.
The defendants, Can Hong Nguyen, Nguyen Duc Hai Long, Nguyen Minh Tam, Hoang Thanh Tho, Le Xuan Ha, Ngo Duc Trung and Khuat Quang Cuong, were officers at the Thach That District Police Division before being dismissed for involving in the case.
Nguyen received strictest sentence of four years for playing the most active role in the beating of 46-year-old locksmith Nguyen Manh Son of the district's Dai Mo Commune. All defendants were found guilty of manslaughter, news website VnExpress reported.
On June 21 last year, Dai Mo police arrested Son at the Cau Doi gas station in the commune because he did not have an ID card or motorbike registration.
Son told the policemen that he was a locksmith and a man named Tuan had hired him to repair the bike's lock for VND200,000 (US$9.6) and he was taking it to his shop.
After identify the bike belonging to another resident that had been stolen, the commune police transferred the case to Thach That District police division.
According to the indictment, Trung and Tam began slapping Son, saying he had lied. Son warned the officers against beating him. Son was swinging a chair warning the cops not to beat him when other officers arrived and beat him up very badly.
Trung instructed others to handcuff Son and several other officers beat Son until he collapsed. He died on the way to the hospital.
The court said the punishment was lenient because the former cops had confessed to their crime and compensated the victim's family with VND1.1 billion. The family of the victim had also requested leniency for the defendants, the court noted.
The crime of "deliberating injuring others in the execution of duty" is punishable by two and seven years in jail under Vietnam's Penal Code.