Vietnam jails cop for 22 years in textbook case of justice obstruction

By Dinh Dung, Thanh Nien News

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Former police officers of Thai Nguyen Province at a trial on March 11, 2015. Photo: Dinh Dung Former police officers of Thai Nguyen Province at a trial on March 11, 2015. Photo: Dinh Dung

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A court in northern Vietnam on Wednesday sentenced a senior police officer to 22 years in jail for taking bribes from a fugitive, intimidating a witness, and then slandering colleagues who were assigned to investigate his corruption.
The indictment said Nguyen Viet Hoa, 39, a former investigator of Thai Nguyen Province Police, received VND2 billion (US$94,000) in March 2012 from a man wanted for murder and drug trafficking that he was supposed to arrest.
The fugitive, Tran Van Hung, asked Hoa to let him go and not to disclose the fact that his girlfriend was harboring him. 
The police officer said he could not let Hoa go, but could change the arrest location in his report to protect the girlfriend.
After Hung's arrest, the woman decided to expose Hoa. 
The officer was detained soon after but still managed to send out orders to four of his subordinates, asking them to threaten the woman into withdrawing the accusation.
She was scared and ran away.
With her disappearing, Hoa’s subordinates were instructed to fake a letter under her name, accusing some other investigators of torturing her and forcing her to make up the bribery. 
The court on Wednesday also sentenced these officers to up to 21 months in jail for helping Hoa cover up his crime. 
One subordinate Nguyen Duc Chinh was given VND150 million of the bribe.

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