Why is judicial manipulation in Vietnam increasing and developing without end?

The story of former Director of Hai Phong Police – Major General Do Huu Ca, receiving VND35 billion ($1.6 million) to help the owner of a business specializing in buying and selling illegal invoices escape the case, received little public attention compared to that on his huge assets that he owns.

Many opinions say that it is because judicial manipulation (using money to get lighter sentences) has become an extremely common situation in Vietnam today. When people encounter problems related to the law, the first thing they think of is asking someone to settle their cases regardless of whether the matter is civil, administrative, or criminal.

Many judges have been caught red-handed accepting bribes, as state media regularly report, showing that this is an extremely common practice. That is the consequence of a society without laws, and justice is not valued. This is a long-standing reality in the Vietnamese judiciary in general and the police in particular.

At the meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee in 2013, National Assembly delegate Do Van Duong questioned Truong Hoa Binh, Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court at that time:

“Is there any negativity in manipulating corruption cases, when the number of cases brought to trial is small, but the number of defendants receiving suspended sentences or light prison sentences is very high, in some places up to 45%?”

Truong Hoa Binh admitted that “in reality, there are a large number of court civil servants who have been prosecuted for criminal liability for being negligent and accepting money from litigants.”

This problem is considered a flaw in the Vietnamese judiciary, and more seriously, the police and lawyers often act as intermediaries in most of these cases. The officials asked to carry out the case must be these at high positions and relationships.

The judicial manipulation also follows the philosophy of gangster Truong Van Cam – aka Nam Cam. That is, “anything that cannot be bought with money, can be bought with a lot of money.”

Three high-profile criminal cases involving sums of up to millions of dollars recently. In the first case, two former officers of the C03 Investigation Agency of the Ministry of Public Security, Bui Trung Kien received $2.2 million and Le Thanh An received $1.5 million, to settle the case of former Director of Thu Duc Hospital Nguyen Minh Quan. The second case is that Major General, Deputy Director of Hanoi Police Nguyen Anh Tuan, received $2.65 million in the rescue flight case. The third case is former Hai Phong Police Director Do Huu Ca receiving VND35 billion.

The general trend of anti-corruption globally is to apply the principles of “rule of law, independent judiciary, free press and civil society organizations participating in anti-corruption supervision.”

The Communist Party of Vietnam’s issuance of “Conclusion Notice No. 20-TB/TW dated September 8, 2022 of the Politburo, on the policy of job arrangement for officials under supervision of the Politburo and the Secretariat after being disciplined” clearly shows that it is a policy to save corrupt leaders.

Accordingly, if a person who commits the crime of embezzlement of property or bribery, during the proceedings, actively return at least three-quarters of the embezzled property or bribery will not be subject to the highest penalty in which the offender is accused, even the death penalty will be reduced to life imprisonment.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong is the person running the anti-corruption campaign, but still has the mindset of “needing to pave the way for our comrades to learn from experience.”

Returning corruption money before trial, in the name of “remediating the consequences” in exchange for a low sentence, or in exchange for freedom like today, is essentially a form of judicial manipulation. Public opinion believes that, if this process continues to be implemented, it will be impossible to “eradicate” judicial manipulation.

Meanwhile, organizations and individuals of the Party and state have arbitrarily and violently intervened in the legal system. Specifically, General Secretary Trong and the Central Anti-Corruption Steering Committee were arbitrary in directing the case according to their wishes.

According to analysts, the cause of the current widespread crime situation is due to the arbitrary application of the law, in a legal system that lacks transparency and fairness.

The ethics of state employees in the judicial sector is also a problem, causing litigants to no longer trust the legal and justice system. This has made people willing to spend money to buy justice, through giving bribery for these officials involving in judicial affairs.

To eliminate the problem of running sentences, public believes that Vietnam needs to have a clear and transparent legal system. It is impossible for the same crime to have too wide a sentence, from suspended prison terms to several years in prison, as it is now.

At the same time, it is necessary to ensure a living wage, as well as the rights of those conducting proceedings must be high enough, to avoid the situation where they sell their conscience and honor cheaply with money to rmanipulate the cases./.


Tra My – Thoibao.de

Kasse animation 7.8.2023