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Vietnam deputies deny expansion of investigative rights to commune-level police

Thursday, June 04, 2015, 17:01 GMT+7
Vietnam deputies deny expansion of investigative rights to commune-level police
Deputy Truong Trong Nghia (L) at a discussion session about the draft law on the organization of criminal investigation agencies and the bill on detention

Lawmakers rejected on Tuesday an expansion of investigative rights to more state agencies, including commune-level police and units of the fishery surveillance, tax and stock committees.

At the law-making National Assembly’s discussion session about the draft law on the organization of criminal investigation agencies and the bill on detention, deputies stressed the need to ensure human rights during legal procedures.

Deputy Do Ngoc Nien, from the central province of Binh Thuan, said many instances of death have taken place within 24 hours of detention at detainment centers of commune police departments even though the victims were healthy before.

Sharing the idea, Deputy Bui Van Xuyen, from the northern province of Thai Binh, added the fear that awarding investigative rights to commune police, a semi-official force, may create more unjust cases.

Lieutenant General Do Kim Tuyen from Hanoi raised the idea that the agencies of fishery surveillance, tax and stock committees should not be awarded investigative rights either.

“Local economic police departments have professional units to investigate those relevant cases,” he noted.

Nguyen Dinh Quyen, deputy chairman of the justice committee of the National Assembly, confirmed that the Politburo had concluded not to expand criminal investigative agencies.

“To avoid unjust cases, investigative agencies must be professional and the investigative rights must not be expanded,” Quyen noted.

Major General Le Dong Phong, vice director of the Ho Chi Minh City Police Department, said it is not urgent now to extend the rights to more agencies.

“The Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department is powered to carry out investigations but it has never used this right and it has forwarded relevant cases to the city’s police,” Phong argued.

At the discussion session, deputies also asked to have different facilities to keep people under investigation and people being tried by court.

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