Investigation against Former POC Truong Duy Nhat Completed, His Case Transferred to Procuracy

Blogger Truong Duy Nhat is filling a request for political asylum in UNHCR’s Office in Bangkok on Jan 25, 2019

Defend the Defenders, August 29, 2019


The Police Investigation Agency of Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security has completed the investigation against former prisoner of conscience blogger Truong Duy Nhat, transferring his case to the Supreme People’s Procuracy with a proposal to prosecute on charge of “Abuse of power or position in performance of official duties” under Article 356 of the country’s 2015 Penal Code.

Particularly, he is accused of using documents of Dai Doan Ket (Great Unity) newspaper to sell its property to former security officer Phan Van Anh Vu, who was convicted of series of charges on economic violations and sentenced to dozens of years in prison in recent years.

Nhat, who spent two years in jail in 2012-2014 for his online posts critical to the communist regime, was allowed to meet with his lawyer for the first time on August 28 since his detention in late January this year. His lawyer Ngo Anh Tuan told the Radio Free Asia (RFA) that his client has not been tortured physically and his health is good although he has not been permitted to receiving food supply from his family.

According to UN’s experts, Mr. Nhat was reportedly to be kidnapped by Thai police officers in Bangkok on January 26 this year, one day after he submitted his request for political asylum to the UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR)’s Office in the city. Later, he was handed over to Vietnam’s secret agents who took him back to Vietnam. According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, he was held in its T16 temporary detention in Hanoi from January 28, however, the ministry has not unveiled how he was arrested and taken from Thailand.

Initially, he was charged with “Abuse of power or position for appropriation of property” but police changed the allegation against him after failed to prove the first charge.

The 55-year-old blogger is facing imprisonment of between five and ten years if he is convicted.