Dong Tam case: Five defendants ask for clemency hinh anh 1Le Dinh Cong at the court (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Five people convicted in a case of disturbance that saw three police officers burnt to death in Dong Tam commune, Hanoi’s outskirt district of My Duc lodged appeals to the People’s Court of Hanoi, asking for clemency and penalty reduction.

They are Le Dinh Cong, Le Dinh Chuc, Le Dinh Doanh, Bui Viet Hieu and Nguyen Quoc Tien.

On September 14, the Hanoi People’s Court sentenced Le Dinh Cong and Le Dinh Chuc to death while Le Dinh Doanh was given life behind bars.

Bui Viet Hieu and Nguyen Quoc Tien received sentences of 16 years and 13 years in prison, respectively.

All were charged with “murder” pursuant to Clause 1, Article 123 of the 2015 Penal Code.

Besides those people, Nguyen Van Tuyen also got 12-year imprisonment for the same charge.

The remaining 23 were given sentences from 15 months’ probation to six years in prison for “resisting on-duty officers” pursuant to Clause 2, Article 330 of the 2015 Penal Code. Of whom, 14 received suspended sentences and were freed after the hearing.

The first instance conclusion shows that this was an extremely serious case, with the defendants’ criminal deeds extremely dangerous for society, running counter to the law, disregarding the State’s principles, infringing upon the State and local authorities’ right activities, and displaying contempt for the lives and health of others, especially those on duty.

Their deeds were extremely brutal and inhumane, using petrol to burn the three policemen when they fell into a pit between Chuc’s house and his neighbour, making their bodies unidentifiable.

The jury said this was a huge loss for the public security force as well as the families of the three policemen. The case caused outrage among people in Hanoi in particular and in Vietnam at large, requiring strict sentences for the defendants.

The six defendants accused of “murder” were the masterminds of the crime and they also led and directly committed criminal acts. They had closely colluded with others who were key members of a so-called “group of consensus” led by Le Dinh Kinh. Kinh was shot dead while holding a grenade and calling on others to resist on-duty officers.

Cong was the leader and often incited others to kill police officers by posting video clips and livestreaming on social networks. He also threatened to bomb power stations and kill 300-500 police officers, assigned tasks to other defendants, and actively performed these acts.

He also directed and contributed money to buy petrol and grenades, guided others how to make petrol bombs and tinder, and directly threw petrol bombs and grenades toward on-duty officers.

Considering that the consequences of Cong’s actions are particularly serious, the jury said it is necessary to apply the most severe punishment against him, to ensure the strictness of the law, general deterrence, education, and prevention.

On late January 8 and early January 9, when informed of the appearance of on-duty officers in Hoanh village, Le Dinh Chuc and other defendants brought weapons to the rooftop of a neighbouring house. They threw four petrol bombs and one grenade at the police, and used hand-made weapons to attack the officers, causing three of them to fall into a pit near Kinh’s house. Chuc and Doanh repeatedly poured petrol into the pit and set it on fire, killing the three policemen.

Bui Viet Hieu and Nguyen Van Tuyen, driven by greed for land, incited others to commit crimes. As the death of the policemen was associated with their behaviour, they must be punished strictly, the jury said, adding that there were also mitigating circumstances, as Hieu committed the crime when he was over 70 years old and Tuyen is a person with disabilities.

Nguyen Quoc Tien was confirmed to have participated in the case right from the beginning and actively contributed money to buy petrol and grenades. He made petrol bombs and purchased 10 grenades with the aim of killing policemen with his accomplices. Though the grenades he had bought did not explode, he clearly believed they were real and would cause death and severe injuries./.