Three Khanh Hoa cops charged with torture

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The Supreme People's Procuracy pressed torture charges against three Khanh Hoa police officers Friday for beating up three residents during interrogations in two separate cases.

In the first case, Lieutenant Lang Thanh Dung, a 26-year-old police officer in charge of social order at the Nha Trang municipal Police Department, Khanh Hoa Province, was charged with beating up two residents during interrogation.

At around 10 p.m. on July 26, Dung and several men in plain clothes forced two local xe om drivers Nguyen Truong Vu and Truong Tri Binh to go with them to the police station.

Dung and a cadet named Hien handcuffed the pair and beat them up with batons and stun guns, making them confess to stealing money from two Hanoian tourists.

Vu, 29, said Dung repeatedly forced him to admit his name was Hung despite the fact that Vu had produced his ID card.

After Vu denied the accusations, Dung seized his motorbike, mobile phone and VND5.8 million (US$281) in cash.

The police officers released the xe om drivers at around 1 a.m. the following day.

Vu had to be admitted to the Khanh Hoa General Hospital for treatment of his wounds. He later lodged a complaint with local police against Dung.

According to procurators, Dung suspected the two xe om drivers were involved in a theft in which two Hanoian male tourists lost VND7 million ($336) at an unlicensed massage parlor on July 21.

He thought the drivers connived with the parlor's employees to steal money from the tourists, procurators said.

In the second case, Dung's colleagues Major Tran Ba Tuan and Lieutenant Nguyen Dinh Quyet were charged with torturing a woman during interrogation.

On November 29, 2010, Tuan and Quyet beat up Tran Thi Lan, the 41-year-old housekeeper of a Nha Trang resident, who claimed more than US$2,000 in cash was missing in his house. Lan was then the main suspect in the theft.

Lan was admitted to hospital the following day with multiple injuries on her body.

Dung, Tuan and Quyet have been suspended following the incidents.

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