Sunday, January 23, 2005

17 sentenced to death in drug trial

A Ho Chi Minh City court sentenced 17 people to death and ten to life in prison Monday (Jan. 24), at the conclusion of Vietnam's largest ever heroin trafficking trial. Two others received lesser sentences of 4 and 20 years. Among those sentenced to death was Ly Ngoc Hai, a court officer in the Ho Chi Minh City People's Court, and deputy to ringleader Nguyen Van Hai. Vietnam has handed down 25 death penalties and executed five prisoners so far this year, according to confirmed statistics from state-run media. It executed 63 people last year, more than half of them convicted of drug crimes. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Jan. 24).


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