While Vietnam’s highest legislative body National Assembly (NA) received a new petition on Ho Duy Hai’s case, a legislator has also proposed General Secretary cum President Nguyen Phu Trong to pay attention to the case. At the same time, the newly established online petition titled “Appeal for justice for death raw inmate Ho Duy Hai” has got 4,310 signatures as of noon of May 18.
The NA is considering the Ho Duy Hai case and “assigning research and professional agencies” to review it, NA’s General Secretary Nguyen Hanh Phuc told reporters.
“In the previous term, the NA established a supervision mission related to this issue, headed by NA’s Deputy Uong Chu Luu, while Deputy Chairwoman of the NA Judicial Committee Le Thi Nga works as deputy head of the team. The Judicial Committee has made recommendations on the Ho Duy Hai’s case,” said Phuc.
He said: “The process also shows that Ho Duy Hai’s family is constantly complaining, the international community and the Vietnamese public are also concerned. Currently, the NA’s Standing Committee is assigning specialized agencies to study and handle it strictly according to law provisions.”
Speaking to voters, Mr. Le Minh Tri, head of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, affirmed that the contents of the appeal of the Supreme People’s Procuracy were right and did not violate the country’s laws.
“The Head of the appeal certainly is not against the law and under the right authority. The head of the Supreme People’s Court also reports to the competent authorities for consideration and the law. This is the responsibility of law enforcement, up to now, the head believes he is doing his duty,” Tri said at the meeting of Ho Chi Minh City NA’s delegation with voters in Districts 5, 10 and 11 on May 18 – when seven out of nine voters’ opinions mentioned about the Supreme Court of Judges’ decision on Hai’s cassation hearing on May 8.
Legislator Luu Binh Nhuong said that the Supreme People’s Court violated the principle of innocent assumption on Ho Duy Hai’s case, he also proposed that General Secretary Trong and NA’s Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan to involve in this case according to their authority.
As reported, while recognizing many critical errors in the investigation process, the council of supreme judges said on May 8 that the error “does not affect the nature of the case.”
“Of course, the nature of the case is ‘murder’ rather than ‘deadly lightning.’ But the nature of the criminal structure may change, more precisely if judicial activities are followed strict provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code. In fact, there have been very typical cases paying the price for procedural violations such as fabricating evidence, irresponsibility, conviction, etc. which have discredited the Party and the State,” said legislator Nhuong.
Nhuong said the case was overseen by the NA’s Judiciary Committee, whereby legislator Le Thi Nga, now the head of the committee, pointed out a series of issues that needed clarification and agreement to confirm the accuracy of the death sentence against Ho Duy Hai.
“At present, public opinion in the society does not agree with the decision of the Supreme People’s Court’s Council and the public does not blindly advocate for Ho Duy Hai but rather to disagree with an unjust, burdensome proceeding comments and violations of basic principles of criminology and criminal procedure. In particular, the more people listen to the explanation of the judges of the SPC as well as the person invited to the interview to speak in the press after the conclusion of the trial, the more concerned the public opinion is because the judgment did not comply with the provisions of law ,” Mr. Nhuong emphasized.
According to Mr. Nhuong, around this incident, there are a number of issues that need to be resolved.
Firstly, public opinion is very disconcerting that Mr. Nguyen Hoa Binh, who decided not to hold the case’s cassation as the head of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, is now sitting to chair the hearing of the cassation review.
Therefore, it is possible (and has proven the results) to bring judicial prejudice into the process of operating, adjudicating and deciding not impartial and clearly violating the provisions of Article 21 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Secondly, the Supreme People’s Court of Judges did not consider impartiality, objectivity, science and soundness of the investigating bodies’ procedural violations.
It can be said that many hidden issues have been pressing public opinion during the past time (such as: time for committing the crimes was not correctly determined; violations in the collecting blood samples and fingerprints, and unspecified accounts of important witnesses, etc.).
“But over 3 working days, the judges in the cassation hearing did not satisfy the things that the society was interested in monitoring, set out to deal with the strict compliance with the Criminal Procedural Code, showing signs of violating the provisions 7, 8, 13, 15, 17 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” Mr. Nhuong stressed.
Thirdly, during the trial process, the Council of Supreme Judges itself sets a power over the law enacted by the parliament.
“There is absolutely no rule that allows the Supreme People’s Court Judging Council to decide whether or not the Supreme People’s Procuracy’s appeal is legal or not. Thus, the Council has allowed itself to impose a further 7th power over the law. This is a serious violation both politically and legally,” Mr. Nhuong stressed.
Fourthly, some recent interpretations of the two senior judges (Nguyen Tri Tue, Bui Ngoc Hoa) on the issues surrounding the case and the trial process clearly revealed the non-standard views on the jurisdiction of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, on the role of the Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, on the independence of the judges, especially on how to collect and evaluate evidence.
“This adds to the skepticism and lack of confidence in the highest judicial body of the State of the Vietnamese law, it seems no one understands the case better than the Supreme Peoples Court’s Judge Council,” said Nhuong.
Legislator Nhuong also said, through some voter information, there is a campaign, implicitly instructing a number of press agencies to write an article “supporting” the Supreme People’s Court; trying to limit, ban news from people who disagree with the Supreme People’s Court, even “making up stories,” and “taking caps” of depressed parliamentarians … in order to block public opinion asking the court judgments to respect and act for justice and a proper trial of the law.
“The people have doubts about the correctness and the role of the Supreme People’s Court Judges Council as the last” gatekeeper” of justice and justice; said that the decision of the Council will create dangerous precedents, very bad precedents, unpredictable consequences for judicial activities, while according to the Constitution, it is the highest judicial body having judicial rights,” said Mr. Nhuong.
Nhuong asked General Secretary cum President Nguyen Phu Trong to direct the Party Committees of the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuracy as well as the Vietnam Bar Association to report to the partys Internal Affairs Committee, Secretariat and Politburo; direct the Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court and the head of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, and the president of the Vietnam Bar Federation to report to the President on the above case.
At the same time, the NA’s Chairwoman is requested to ask the Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court and the head of the People’s People’s Procuracy to report separately Ho Duy Hai case at the 9th session of the parliament; organize the implementation of the NA’s Supreme Supervision or the NA’s Standing Committee on cases brought by cassation judges to conduct cassation or reopening trial procedures that cause public concern, including Ho Duy Hai’s case.
Vietnamese intellectuals sign petition about Ho Duy Hai “for citizenship’s duty
A petition is sent to the heads of the highest-level state agencies in Vietnam asking President Nguyen Phu Trong to “suspend the execution of Ho Duy Hai.”
In addition, the group signed a petition asking the NA to set up a Committee to oversee the case to re-evaluate the objectivity and accuracy of the cassation session more than a week ago.
They also asked the NA “if serious errors are discovered, the NA shall dismiss the Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court and its members, elect the new chief justice and approve new judges.”
In addition to the number of intellectuals, there are many citizens in Vietnam also have a large number of Vietnamese or Vietnamese people living abroad, from Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Czech, Poland, Sweden, England, France, Ukraine, Russia, Japan, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Philippines, and Singapore and other countries.
According to Ms. Nguyen Hoang Anh, “Vietnam is in the process of reform, although it has achieved many convincing results but errors are inevitable.”
“We look forward to making a peaceful contribution to accelerate this reform process.”
She said this petition was sent to General Secretary cum President Nguyen Phu Trong, NA’s Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, United Nations representative agencies, and ambassadors of the EU and other countries in Vietnam.