Three cops, militiaman on trial for beating suspect to death

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The court of Soc Trang Province will this month open a trial against three police officers and a militiaman charged with beating a resident to death on March 30 .

The defendants include Senior lieutenant Vo Van Ut Deo, 30, sergeant major Danh Nhan, 27, sergeant Tran Tuan Khai, 26, and militiaman Nguyen Quoc Thang, 32.

According to the indictment, police of Nga Nam Town in the eponymous district were informed by some residents that 44-year-old Tran Van Du had beaten his own mother and broken her arm.

Senior lieutenant Deo, deputy chief of police in the town, assigned Danh Nhan and Tuan Khai to escort Du to the police station to make a report.

At the police station, Du rejected the accusation and challenged the policemen. A police officer beat his buttocks with a club and Nhan hit him in the face, waist and abdomen.

When he asked to go to the rest room, militiaman Nguyen Quoc Thang, 32, kicked and forced him to kneel down in a room.

Deo asked Du to go to another room but the man fell off immediately after standing up and his head hit the ground.

Du was set free in the evening but he fell another time at the entrance of the police station. Deo then asked his subordinates to take him to the gate and leave him there.

A local doctor later found Du unconscious at the site and took him to the district hospital but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

An autopsy later showed that he died from a ruptured liver and blood congestion in his abdomen besides serious injuries on the back of his head.

The three police officials are charged with "deliberately causing injuries leading to death" while militiaman Thang is charged with being an accomplice in the crime.

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