A court in Dak Nong Province sent two cops and a commune police chief off to jail, on Wednesday, for beating a suspect to death during an interrogation.
Tran Van Cong, 38, former head of Dao Nghia Commune Police in Dak R’Lap District received four and a half years in jail.
Cong's subordinates Le Van Tam, 46, and Nguyen Huu Tuyen, 27, received the same sentence for aggravated battery, the paper said.
According to the indictment, a local man arrested Huynh N., 39, after spotting him in his black pepper field on February 13.
N. was escorted to the commune police station at 5:30 pm and returned to his family two hours later.
The police said they would see him again the next morning, but N. died at home at around 9 am.
Forensic tests identified 33 injuries and bruises all over the his body.
Doctors said he died of the injuries combined with respiratory and heart failure.
Forensic examinations revealed bruises all over a man who was beaten by police in Dak Nong Province on February 13, 2014 during a theft interrogation. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre
The officers admitted to having repeatedly beaten N. with batons because they suspected him of lying.
They said they only meant to scare N. into telling the truth.
The court also ordered the former police officers to pay the victim’s family VND134 million (US$6,276) in compensation and pay his children VND600,000 ($28), or half of the basic public sector wage, a month until they reach 18.
Vietnamese regulations do not permit commune-level police to conduct interrogate criminal suspects.
Commune-level cops are only allowed to take a brief statement at the time of a suspect's arrest and forward the individual to higher authorities.
Several fatal instances of police brutality have been reported across the country this year and a number of involved officers have gone to jail as a result.