Prosecutors in Soc Trang Province have paid out compensation to seven locals who were detained in 2013 for a murder they did not commit.
Tran Van Do, Khau Soc, Tran Hol and Thach Muol each received around VND70 million (US$3,400) on Wednesday.
That same day, Phan Van Tung, a representative from the province’s prosecution unit said his office would pay three others, Tran Cua, Thach So Phach and Nguyen Thi Be Diem the followng day.
He said the province will pay out a total of nearly VND500 million ($23,435).
The money includes compensation for the damage done to the seven people'shonor as well as the money they could have earned during their detention.
Tung said only one victim has filed a request for a public apology.
He said they will make the apology as soon as they can.
Six of the victims were detained for allegedly killing a local xe om (motorbike taxi) driver while Diem, the only woman, was accused of failing to report their crime.
The men were identified as suspects because they had quarreled with the driver days before he was found dead on the road in June 2013.
Police say he had been stabbed seven times.
The suspects were released in February 2014 after a teenage girl showed up in December 2013 and confessed that she and her lesbian partner robbed and killed the man.
The seven victims claim that the officers who oversaw the case beat confessions out of them.
Phan Huu Thuy, spokesman for the Soc Trang Police, admitted that the team was eager to wrap up the case, leading to “hasty” detentions; 25 police officers involved in the case were censured and demoted last June.
Two have been detained, as well as a prosecutor, while investigators continue to explore their role in the case.
On August 19, a Soc Trang court sentenced Nguyen Kim Xuyen, one of the teen girls, to 12 years in jail, Vietnam’s maximum punishment for a murder committed by a person under 16 years old. Xuyen was then 14.
Her partner Le Thi My Duyen avoided criminal charges for committing the crime before reaching the age of 14 (at 13) and was sent to reform school.
Duyen confessed to the police after she found out Xuyen had begun a relationship with another girl.
She said she was jealous and wanted the authorities to jail them together.