Wrongly imprisoned man to obtain US$ 360,000 reparation

Nguyen Thanh Chan, widely known as the man who was falsely convicted of murder and has served ten years of his life-imprisonment sentence, will be paid 7.2 billion VND (approximately 360,000 USD) by the state, Chief Justice Truong Hoa Binh said on Friday (June 5).

“In the case of Nguyen Thanh Chan, we have granted him a pardon and negotiated with him on the reparation. He has agreed to receive 7.2 billion VND for compensation and we are now completing the procedures,” the VnExpress quoted Truong Hoa Binh as saying at the National Assembly meeting.

Relatives and friends comforted Nguyen Thanh Chan on the day of his release.

Relatives and friends comforted Nguyen Thanh Chan on the day of his release.

Nguyen Thanh Chan, 58, was accused in 2003 by the police of Viet Yen district, Bac Giang province of killing a neighbor in his hometown of Nghia Trung village. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2004 and the sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court four months later despite his tenacious claims that he is innocent.

His wife kept visiting public offices to desperately call for justice administration. She did not succeed until ten years later, when the investigating division of the People’s Supreme Procuracy agreed to consider her letter of July 2013, in which she said she by herself had found the real murderer, Ly Nguyen Chung.

In October that year, Ly Nguyen Trung gave himself up to the police, admitting that he had committed the murder to rob the victim of two rings and 59,000 VND (approximately 3 or 4 USD in 2003 dollars).

Nguyen Thanh Chan was released on November 4 after ten years in prison. His story became a topical event for the public, especially when it turned out that Chan was brutally tortured and extorted during police investigation and his wife developed psychological problems as a result of her ten-year quest of justice.

Chan demanded 10 billion VND (US$ 471,000) of reparation for his and the family’s sufferings. Following three rounds of negotiations, the Supreme Court last month agreed to pay him 7.2 billion VND.

Not many people found the compensation satisfactory, especially when the Ministry of Finance said in a press conference on June 9 that the state would provide the reparation using state budget, which would “ultimately be paid by the tax-payers” as said by many facebookers in social media networks.