Search

 

Cablegate: Investigating Bad Cops -- Some Progress

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HANOI 002541

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV AND DRL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PINS PGOV KJUS VM HUMANR
SUBJECT: Investigating bad cops -- some progress

Ref: A. Hanoi 2074

B. 02 Hanoi 2407

1. (U) Summary. The Supreme People's Procurary (SPP) has
proposed a formal investigation against the deputy chief and
two officers of a police investigation office in Quang Nam
province for their involvement in the 2002 death by beating
of a detainee. The investigation may mark a positive change
in the way in which allegations of law enforcement abuses
are handled by consolidating the authority to make such
inquiries at the national level to make investigation less
susceptible to political influence. End Summary.

2. (U) According to media reports, a preliminary inquiry
conducted by the national level SPP Investigation Office
revealed that on the night of July 14, 2002, local police
investigators came to the residence of Nguyen Ngoc Chau in
Thang Binh district of Quang Nam province and took him into
custody without a warrant. Chau was then allegedly heavily
beaten during questioning about his possible involvement in
a case of murder and property theft, and died early on July
16 on the way to a local hospital for treatment. A local
autopsy had declared that his death was due to "heart
disease."
3. (U) Alerted to possible injustice in the case, the SPP
requested the central military coroner's office conduct a
second autopsy, which lead to the determination that the
victim had actually died from beatings as well as having
suffered "serious respiratory debility" caused by violence.
Based on these results and its preliminary inquiry into the
case, the SPP then proposed a formal investigation of the
two police officers for illegally detaining a citizen
without a warrant and for use of corporal punishment. The
SPP has also now proposed a formal investigation of
Lieutenant Colonel Huynh Duc Cuong, deputy chief of the
local police investigation office, for having done nothing
to prevent the misconduct. Under pressure from the
provincial government and the MPS, however, the SPP
Investigation Office agreed to examine the Lieutenant
Colonel's involvement separately, in order to take into
context the "political situation in the locality."

4. (SBU) A deputy section chief from the Ministry of Public
Security's External Relations General Department noted to
Embassy that it was still "quite strange" for the national
SPP Office to become involved in the investigation of a
local level case. The MPS' investigation office is usually
more likely to take charge of such cases, he added, as well
as opining that the national SPP may have chosen to
investigate the incident itself to ensure fairer results.

5. (SBU) A deputy director of the Supreme People's Court's
(SPC) Judicial Institute confirmed separately to Embassy
that the national level SPP Investigation Office was now
supposed to take the lead in conducting investigations on
cases involving legal enforcement officials at all levels,
rather than leaving this responsibility to their provincial
equivalents. The objective is to ensure "impartiality" in
investigations of law enforcement staff, including those
looking into members of the MPS, the Procuracy, and the
Court, he claimed.

6. (SBU) Comment: A more assertive role by the SPP
Investigation Office in law enforcement-related cases could
be welcome, and may be reflective of a heightened GVN
determination to correct police injustices. In another
recent case, the Supreme People's Court reportedly requested
re-investigation of an auto accident in which the son of a
senior Hanoi police official had been cleared of wrongdoing.
The change in investigation procedures is twinned with a
National Assembly resolution earlier this year prescribing
procedures to obtain official compensation for victims of
police and judicial wrongs (ref a). The increasing - but
still rare - media attention given to such cases is also
welcome, as was the case in an earlier incident involving
prison guards (ref b). Nonetheless, the difference in
treatment between the two officers and their supervisor
suggests rank and connections still are influential in the
legal system. The legal and oversight environment for
criminal affairs is changing for the better, albeit slowly,
in a process that will likely continue for many years, if
not decades, ahead.
PORTER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Myanmar: UN Condemns Escalating Violence In Deadliest Day Of Protests So Far

In response to the killing of at least 18 protesters demonstrating against Myanmar’s military coup, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Sunday together with the UN chief, strongly condemned the “escalating violence” and called for an immediate end to the use of force... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>