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Death penalty scrapped for Vietnamese American who hid drugs in underwear

Saturday, February 07, 2015, 14:48 GMT+7
Death penalty scrapped for Vietnamese American who hid drugs in underwear
Dinh Jason, a 42-year-old Vietnamese American, is seen at his first instance trial in Ho Chi Minh City on April 22, 2014.

A Vietnam court has cancelled the death sentence on an overseas Vietnamese man and requested confirmation of the exact quantity of the drugs he was found hiding in his underwear when he was arrested in Ho Chi Minh City in June 2013.

>> Death penalty for Vietnamese American who hid drugs in underwear The People’s Supreme Court on Friday ordered cancellation of the capital punishment for Dinh Jason, a 42-year-old Vietnamese American, who appealed the sentence given to him by the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court on April 22, 2014, according to VnExpress. Dinh was charged with “illegally transporting drugs” pursuant to Article 194 of the Penal Code.  After reviewing the case file, the Supreme Court requested the investigation agency to re-probe it and determine the exact volume of heroin carried by Dinh as an important basis for conviction.Dinh Jason, also known as Dinh Tien Hoang who has American nationality, was detained at Tan Son Nhat International Airport on June 12, 2013 while he was carrying out procedures to take a flight to Australia. His arrest was made after customs officers and security-screening staff found three plastic packs of white powder, weighing over one kilogram, stashed in his underwear.

A sample of the powder was then tested and confirmed to be heroin.

According to the indictment, Dinh gambled at a casino in Las Vegas in January 2013 and lost all the money he brought along with him. Dinh then obtained a loan of US$20,000 from a person, Maico, at the casino to continue gambling and then lost the entire sum again. As he failed to pay back his loan, Maico suggested that Dinh accompany him on their return to Vietnam, where the Vietnamese American would work for Maico as a way to make up for the unpaid debt.

Dinh agreed to the suggestion and he and Maico traveled to Vietnam in June 2013.

Maico then asked Jason to take the three above-mentioned bags of heroin to Australia via Tan Son Nhat, where the Vietnamese American was caught red-handed. At last year’s hearing, the prosecutor proposed that Dinh be sentenced to death, but his lawyer asked the court to give the man a commutation as he committed the offense only because of wanting to get money for debt settlement.

The jury rejected the lawyer’s argument, saying the defendant’s act was very dangerous to society and he deserved the capital sentence.

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