The Investigation Police in Hai Phong City on October 22 detained Nguyen Van Khanh, former vice chairman of the People’s Committee of Tien Lang District for four months, for destroying property of a citizen in a forced land eviction earlier this year.
The arrest was made eight months after Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung concluded that the eviction of 49-year-old Doan Van Vuon, a farmer in Vinh Quang Commune of Tien Lang District, in January was illegal.
|Nguyen Van Khanh, former vice chairman of the People’s Committee of Tien Lang District (Photo: SGGP)|
Khanh, 51, has been indicted with ‘destruction of property’ and will be detained for four months until further investigation. After arresting Khanh, the police searched his house in Tien Lang Town.
Later on the same day, police also prosecuted Pham Xuan Hoa, 57, head of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment; Phan Dang Hoan, 52, secretary of the Party Committee of Vinh Quang Commune; and Le Thanh Liem, 49, chairman of the People’s Committee of the Commune, on the same charges as Khanh.
As previously reported, a forced land eviction led by Khanh occurred in the commune on January 5, 2012, with the participation of local police and a military unit.
The eviction was violently resisted by Vuon and his family, causing injury to six law enforcement officers. Vuon claimed that the local authorities’ decision to withdraw 40 hectares of land was unlawful since it was not in accordance with the Law of the Land.
One day later, a number of construction works owned by Vuon and his brother, Doan Van Quy, were destroyed by the local authorities.
For their violent resistance, Vuon and three other members of his family had been arrested and prosecuted on charges of attempted murder and resisting law enforcement officers, while two other members, including Vuon’s wife, were charged with resisting law enforcement officers, but have been since released on bail.
On February 2, the city police opened an investigation into the destruction of the house, and five days later, Hai Phong City’s Party Committee suspended Khanh.
|House of Doan Van Quy and his brother was demolished by law enforcement of Tien Lang District in early May 1, 2012 (Photo: SGGP)|
At a meeting on February 10, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung concluded that the district authorities had violated the Law of the Land in withdrawing the land allocated to Vuon, and had to revoke all their wrong decisions to enable Vuon to continue using the land.
On February 23, Hai Phong City People's Committee dismissed Le Van Hien, chairman of Tien Lang District People’s Committee, and Khanh, Hien's deputy, from their posts.