The 17-member Judicial Council of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC), rejected the appeal of the Supreme People’s Procuracy regarding the unjust case of Ho Duy Hai on May 8, 2020, making a fatal blow to the reputation of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam’s legal system.
I. Seven causes making people angry to the council
The whole society is angry. Never before in Vietnam has there been such a strong wave of protest against the SPC. Not only indignant, people have condemned all 17 members of the SPC through social networks. Here are 7 reasons that people nationwide condemned 17 members of the SPC.
1. Look down regulations on Criminal Procedure Code
As the supreme court of the nation, more than anyone else, the SPC must be the most strict compliance with the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). However, voting No. 1 (noon on May 8, 2020) of the SPC on the question “The case has procedural errors as stated. Did those errors change the nature of the case?” and with 17/17 members voting “Do not change the nature of the case” – is a violation of the CPC, is a waiver of the compulsory compliance with the CPC, is a disregard for the CPL.
How can the highest law enforcement agency in the country disregard the law?
2. Law capacity
The number 1 question of the SPC to vote is an obscure question. What is “changing the nature of the case“? In fact, what the SPC would like to describe:
“The case has made procedural errors as stated. Did those errors lead to misidentification? ”
All 17 members of the SPC were unable to use the right words to express what they need to say, how can people trust their correctness in adjudicating complex cases?
Judges of the SPC must be the most concise and accurate users of sentences, because they are the people who make laws and adjudicate. That is the minimum requirement of the judge. Question # 1 for voting revealed the catastrophic weakness of 17 SPC judges – though covered by the title of doctor of law and master of law.
Question No. 1 to vote of the SPC again proved the necessity of Chief Justice of the SPC Nguyen Hoa Binh: “The court will open a training course to write the sentence according to a predetermined form. This class will invite literature teachers to teach spelling, grammar, and every dot, comma … ”(https://www.tienphong.vn/…/nganh-toa-an-se-moi- teacher-de …).
No one can believe in the wisdom of finding justice in trial in judges when they themselves are not able to write the right words.
3. No independence
Ho Duy Hai case caused outrage in the whole society for a serious violation of the CPC. No one protects the criminal. The problem is that countless questions in the case remain unanswered. So the whole society requires a new investigation to determine the right crime without leading to injustice.
Yet among all 17 members of the SPC, there was no one judge with different opinions. This is a fake unity. Because of being directed? Because no one dares to publicly raise his hand to vote in reverse? It proves the dependence in the activity of judges.
A Council that members are not independent in the trial should not dream of justice in that trial decision.
4. No fairness
It is impossible to list out the absurdities in Ho Duy Hai case that the media have mentioned in the past few days. Only emphasizing that the activities of the SPC on May 6-8 exert a thorough orientation which is aimed at condemning the death penalty to Ho Duy Hai, without canceling the investigation case again which would lead to the truth.
All 4 voting questions are for the sole purpose of rejecting the Supreme People’s Court’s appeal, rejecting the principle of “innocent assumption” and forgetting serious violations of the CPC as well as confirming there was no coerced confession and Hai voluntarily confessed he committed a crime. Asserting that the testimony is consistent with the development of the case without giving solid evidence. SPC still insists that sentencing Ho Duy Hai’s death penalty is right. The SPC plainly rejected a re-investigation of the case. It all exudes a predetermined purpose. All exuded unjustness – unworthy of the position of the judge sitting in the position of the SPC.
5. Breaking the standards of education
Wrong design, the bridge collapsed. If the aircraft design is wrong, the aircraft explodes. The wrong solution cannot produce the right result.
Voting question “The case has had procedural errors as stated. Did those errors change the nature of the case? ” and the answer “Do not change the nature of the case” – is the breaking down of the basic standards of education. That does not depend on the wrong problem, does not depend on the wrong solution, does not depend on wrong calculations, based on the answer that determines. The upcoming nationwide High School Graduation Exam will not need answers and a marking bare. Because mistakes from the beginning and during the test will “not change the nature of the solution“!
How will law teachers teach students about CPC when students cite question # 1 of the SPC?
6. Everyone can become Ho Duy Hai
A team of investigators who are pathetically weak in their professional activities must admit their own mistakes. A flagrant violation of the CPC. Is a record made from those two factors still serving as a “reliable basis” for trial?
The most important suspects were deliberately ignored. Field fingerprints were not compared with those of suspected individuals. No traces of Ho Duy Hai’s him from being accused. Who may not believe that a criminal has been missed?
Failure to protect the scene. Burning material evidence. Faking new material evidence. Who can believe that the right person was sentenced?
They said not to see signs of coerced confession but in fact, there is coerced confession in almost all cases. Based on the accused’s testimony to confirm guilt. Who can believe there is no injustice?
The fear of Vietnamese people today is that anyone can become accused like Ho Duy Hai, Nguyen Thanh Chan, Huynh Van Compress, and Han Duc Long, etc.
7. Harmful to prestige of Vietnam’s justice
The case showed the SPC’s disrespect of the CPC. Directly, the SPC has affirmed right and wrong depending on its preferences. If they like it, they make a new provision like the first rule. They are not bound by the CPC of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. They also do not depend on the theory and practice of the world’s CPC. They tell the people of Vietnam and the world that in Vietnam there is no need to comply with the CPC.
Question 1 of the council’s voting has reduced the confidence of the people in the justice of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, jeopardizing the reputation of the judicial branch of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on the international arena.
II. Professional capacity of investigators too weak
The investigators in the case did not protect the crime scene, did not protect material evidence in the cases (burning means of causing crime such as chopping knives and cutting board), arbitrarily purchased a cutting boards from the market to serve the real evidence in the case, did not examine the fingerprints of the suspects. Ignored the important suspects, dit not not analyze blood traces to determine the time of crime. Only relied on the statements of the accused, and a series of other serious errors in case files. It was the investigators who claimed to be flawed.
The human life that has been entrusted to such weak investigators has been impossible to secure.
How can the Vietnamese judiciary have such weak investigators? Due to their fake diploma? Due to paying for their positions?
For whatever reason, human life cannot be entrusted to such weak investigators. Because no one can secure their lives under the records of these investigators.
III. Was Ho Duy Hai forced to make confession?
1. Is there any evidence of corruption found? Corruption has been and is a systemic issue in Vietnam. Is there anywhere that sees evidence of using money to buy state official positions? Everywhere. Are there any cases showing signs of coercion? Coerced confession is systemic too… That is the bitter irony of Vietnamese society today.
Therefore, people are worried that Ho Duy Hai has been forced to make confession, even though the SPC believes Ho Duy Hai has not been forced.
2. The court had also affirmed that Nguyen Thanh Chan was not forced to confess. The trial judge confirmed that it was not wrong. Only thanks to the real criminals surrendered to the case so Mr. Nguyen Thanh Chan can escape from death after more than 10 years of unjust imprisonment. Only then did Mr. Nguyen Thanh Chan talked about his coerced confession:
“Do you confess? I let you die!” Officer Tran N.L forced me to draw a knife, I did not draw a knife and he said he would use a hammer to beat me in my head. Officer HT always held a knife to threaten me during interrogation and force me to confess to committing the crime. Next, officer Ngo. D. D read and forced me to write a confession letter on September 28, 2003.
Also in Ke prison camp, I had to practice stabbing on one side and stabbing the other. They took a prisoner to pretend to be Ms. Hoan (the victim of the case). The officer gave a spoon and a comb to make a weapon. They forced me to practice many times, then they borrowed a house from the local people, forced me to reenact and film experimental scenes.
For nearly 2 weeks, I practiced killing people. Every day they took me to a room, in the room there was a mannequin, a fake knife, started at 8.00 am, break at 11:30 am, resumed at 14:00 and finished at 16:30. I was forced to practice until perfection and police officers came to take pictures
(source: https://vnexpress.net/ong-nguyen-thanh-chan-mo-ta- viec-bi-e …).
3. Even former Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Bac Son, who was also powerful, complained of coerced confession, who would not be victim of coerced confession?
Therefore, we suspect that Ho Duy Hai may have been forced to make confession.
Doctor of Mathematics Nguyen Ngoc Chu