HCM City Court hears appeal in massacre case

Viet Nam News
BÌNH PHƯỚC – The HCM City People’s Court on Monday began a two-day court of appeals session, reviewing the trial of a gang that murdered six members of a family in Bình Phước Province.
The first instance court in this southern province last December handed down death sentences to two of the men, Nguyễn Hải Dương, 24, the ex-boyfriend of one of the slain, charged with orchestrating the murders, and Vũ Văn Tiến, Dương’s 24-year- old friend, charged with being his accomplice. Another accomplice, Trần Đình Thọai, Dương’s 27-year- old friend, was sentenced to 16 years for buying a knife for Duong to kill the victims and for not reporting the conspiracy to commit murder.
The HCM City court was on Monday focussing on reviewing the appeals submitted by the victims’ family, who are calling for a trial for Dương’s aunt, named Trinh, for allegedly offering him a motorbike to drive to the victims’ house to undertake the massacre.

The victims’ family also demanded a heavier sentence for Thoại for not reporting Dương’s actions and instead buying a knife for him to commit the murder.
Appeals submitted by Tiến’s family asked for the charges against him to be dropped as he had acted under threats from Dương, who allegedly insisted he accompany him to commit the massacre. These appeals will also be reviewed by the court.
Lawyer Lê Văn Nam from Bình Phước Lawyers Group, who defends Tiến, said a death sentence for Tiến was too heavy.
Nam referenced three of the five key points that favour the defendant: First, the first instance court did not really consider the levels of influence between the criminals, which followed the hierarchy of a master and his supporters.
Nam said Tiến was forced by Dương to take part in the crime, making him only a supporter.
Secondly, Dương had confessed to threatening Tiến and forcing him to go with him to the crime scene.
Thirdly, Nam opposed the view of the court that Tiến was like the other killers, who possessed a rough, barbaric character—a key factor that had attracted the death sentence. In this case, Tiến was actually just a supporter of the killer but did not directly kill anyone.
Many people flocked to the court to follow the trial and hear the review of the case that had shocked the country last year. – VNS

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