Reviewing Ho Duy Hai’s case: How will Le Minh Tri “knock out” Binh Toa?

Since May 2020, after the cassation session, the Ho Duy Hai case has ended with a mark left – that is the “cold” statement of Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court Nguyen Hoa Binh.

Binh admitted that the investigation process of the case had errors, but he still affirmed that “it does not change the nature of the case.” As a result of cassation, the court still affirmed the death sentence against Ho Duy Hai. And the case ended with the sky-high injustice of a “wrongful death row prisoner” – who has been locked up in prison for 16 years now.

On March 28, Cong An Nhan Dan newspaper of the Ministry of Public Security reported “Arrest and detain the subject who posted content distorting the Ho Duy Hai case.” The news said that on March 28, the Security Investigation Agency of Binh Duong provincial Police announced that it had probed the case and arrested Nguyen Duc Du, 48 years old and probed defendant Hoang Quoc Viet, 46 years old. Both defendants reside in Thuan An city, Binh Duong province.

According to the indictment, Du and Viet were accused of posting on their personal pages many articles that distorted, slandered, and libeled the investigation and trial of the Ho Duy Hai case.

Public opinion sees that the above arrest occurred in the context of Ho Duy Hai’s case having “fallen into a dead end” with no way out. At the same time, Vietnam’s political scene is extremely chaotic. There are many concerns about the political future of Chief Justice Nguyen Hoa Binh.

After the cassation session of the Ho Duy Hai case, the public assessed that Chief Justice Binh’s ruling even more clearly affirmed Vietnam’s “blind” judiciary.

Journalist Huy Duc commented on Facebook “Are justice and Ho Duy Hai’s fate the most important priorities? Upholding the verdict” is not simply to rescue the political reputation of Chief Justice Nguyen Hoa Binh.

Previously, Chief Procurator of the Supreme Procuracy Le Minh Tri pointed out a series of errors and contradictions in the investigation and proceedings, and appealed to cancel the verdict to re-investigate.

Notably, the fact that Chief Justice Binh presided over the Cassation trial of the Ho Duy Hai case has attracted the attention of domestic and international community. Because this is the first time a Supreme Court Chief Justice directly presides over a trial.

Before, during and after the cassation trial, the public and experts affirmed that during the investigation, trial of first instance, appeal and cassation, the Ho Duy Hai case seriously violated the law on Criminal Procedure.

Especially Nguyen Hoa Binh’s “3 in 1” role in this case. Accordingly, Binh used to be a Major General, Deputy General Director of the General Police Department, Deputy Head of the Police Investigation Agency of the Ministry of Public Security, during the investigation of the case. After that, he became Director of the Supreme Procuracy and issued a decision not to appeal the case. Then, when he became Chief Justice, he chaired the cassation session and was the one who rejected the appeal and maintained the death sentence against Ho Duy Hai.

Thus, Binh, with 3 roles – investigator, prosecutor, judge, certainly cannot make a fair and impartial decision.

Recently, there have been rumors about changes in senior leadership of judicial agencies. Accordingly, there is a high possibility that Le Minh Tri will sit as Head of the Central Committee’s Commission for Internal Affairs. Thus, Binh’s political fate may face problems.

Because, according to information leaked from the leadership, before appealing to the cassation of the Ho Duy Hai case, Le Minh Tri reported, asked for General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s opinion and was approved. Therefore, now Tri proactively “takes the initiative” to force Binh into a “top competition.” This duel will have no winner, but the ultimate loser is Chief Justice Binh.

Analysts assess that Chief Justice Binh is a close figure of General Secretary Trong. The Ministry of Public Security is using the Phuc Son case to overthrow the “holy land” of Quang Ngai – the place where Nguyen Hoa Binh once ruled and promoted.

Therefore, reviewing the Ho Duy Hai case file could be of great political significance. Especially at this time, the reputation of the Party in general and of its senior leaders has declined rapidly to an unprecedented level up to now.

The relationship between Police Chief To Lam and Binh has long been considered “harmonious.” But, with the determination to become the party chief, To Lam’s ally will also deal harshly with Binh.

Recently, Cong An Nhan Dan Newspaper once again mentioned the Ho Duy Hai case, which is certainly not a coincidence. There is a high possibility that this will pave the way for “prosecuting a case of falsifying case files and infringing on judicial activities” related to the incumbent Chief Justice./.


Tra My –