HANOI, Vietnam – Two Vietnamese police officers have been imprisoned for helping a woman on death row become pregnant so she would not have to face the firing squad, a court official said Thursday.
The policemen in Hoa Binh province were found guilty of allowing the woman to have sex with a male inmate so that she could take advantage of a Vietnamese law that says pregnant women and mothers of children under 3 cannot be put to death.
The Hoa Binh City Court convicted the two officers of abusing power while on duty, said court official Hoang Thuy Linh.
Nguyen Thuyen, 31, was sentenced to five years in prison, while Bui Van Quyet, 23, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years.
"It was the most unusual case I have ever seen," Linh said of Wednesday's sentencing. "Many people came to the trial out of curiosity, just to see what the woman and her baby looked like."
Nguyen Thi Oanh, now 40, was sentenced to death in 2005 for drug trafficking but her sentence was reduced to life in prison after she became pregnant in 2006. The death sentence will not be reapplied when Oanh's son — who lives with her in prison — turns 3.
Thuyen and Quyet confessed that they had accepted a bribe of $92 from Oanh's family to let the male inmate make five unsupervised visits to her cell, Linh said.