Friday, March 25, 2005

Australian sentenced to death on drug charges

The Ho Chi Minh City Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from an Australian man of Vietnamese origin, Tran Van Thanh, 40, who was sentenced to death on drug smuggling charges. His two accomplices, Tran Van Viet, 30, and Pham Martin, 48, both also Australian citizens, received life sentences; while a delivery man was sentenced to 16 years. They were tried in Nov. 2004, convicted of attempting to smuggle in June 2003 nearly 700 grams of heroin ($30,000 worth) from Vietnam to Australia. Thanh has until next Monday to appeal for clemency from Pres. Tran Duc Luong. Australia says it will appeal for Thanh's clemency because it strongly opposes the death penalty. (AAP March 24)


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