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Officials arrested over land dispute

Leading committee member remanded after Catholic family's eviction reporter, Hanoi

October 24, 2012

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Public security authorities yesterday said they would investigate four local government officials accused of evicting a Catholic farmer and destroying his property in the northern city of Haiphong. Authorities said Nguyen Van Khanh, former vice-president of People’s Committee of Tien Lang district, would be detained for four months pending an investigation into attacks on Peter Doan Van Vuon's family home. Three other commune officials – Pham Xuan Hoa, Pham Dang Hoan and Le Thanh Liem – were released on bail but must remain at home, said Senior Lieutenant-Colonel Pham Duy Dien. “Public security is continuing to probe other relevant officials and will bring them to court,” he added. The four men allegedly led an eviction team made up of hundreds of police and troops who destroyed two buildings owned by Catholic farmer Vuon in Tien lang district of Haipong in January. Vuon and his relatives used homemade guns and bombs to try to repel the attacks, resulting in injuries to six policemen and soldiers. Vuon and his younger brother are themselves currently in detention and face charges of attempted murder and fighting against government officials. After the incident, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung ordered those responsible for the destruction of Vuon’s house to be suspended and for police to investigate and prosecute them. Nguyen Thi Thuong, Vuon’s wife, however, appears to have sided with the detained official, saying two months after the incident that Khanh was following orders and had himself protested earlier against the decision to evict the family. Related reports Communist Party addresses land law Premier sides with farmer in land dispute
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