Vinh Phuc man drowned in sewer after being attacked, 2nd autopsy shows

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A man whose death ignited a public contest in a northern Vietnamese province last month had died of drowning after being attacked by a group of men, police said after performing the second autopsy.

The death of Nguyen Tuan Anh, 27, had made headlines all over the country after family held a public protest, carrying his coffin in a procession demanding justice. They accused the son-in-law of the provincial mayor of being involved in the killing.

On the morning of March 17, local residents found Anh's decaying body in a sewer on Vinh Yen Town's Quan Tien Street.

His family had told the police that he not returned home since the evening of March 14.

Local police had performed an autopsy and concluded that Anh had drowned after falling into the sewer. However, his family disagreed with the finding saying Anh had multiple bruises on his body and some of his teeth were missing.

On the afternoon of March 17, more than 1,000 local residents joined the family as they carried Anh's coffin to the area near Vinh Phuc Post Office, demanding an investigation into his death.

The family said they suspected that Anh was beaten up by a group led by Tran Khanh Dung, the son-in-law of Phung Quang Hung, chairman of Vinh Phuc Province People's Committee.

The protest caused a five-hour traffic gridlock at the central area of Vinh Yen Town.

One day later, local police announced they had investigated and arrested six men involved in the murder. They said Anh and his friends had a quarrel with another group of men at an eatery on the evening of March 14. Anh was beaten up and then pushed into the sewer by the group.

They said when Anh was pushed into the sewer, he was still alive, but he was unable to get out because he was drunk, and consequently drowned.

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Hung has repeatedly denied the involvement of his son-in-law in the murder. Dung has been summoned for questioning by police several times, and they have maintained that there was no evidence thus far linking him to the murder.

According to a Thanh Nien source, the six suspects are employees of a construction company of which Dung is the director.

The case is being investigated further.

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