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Vietnam State Media Delays Correction, Court of Appeals Delays Hearing

ICC Note:

“The lawsuit brought by Thai Ha parishioners who demanded correct information from their criminal trial on Dec 8, 2008 to be made by the state new media has been further complicated and delayed by bureaucracy from the court and the editor of the newspaper. Various bureaucratic maneuvers have also been applied to delay their Court of Appeal hearing.”

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2/9/09 Vietnam (VietCatholic) Two of the Thai Ha defendants had come forward and filed a complaint against the New Hanoi Newspaper and VTV Television station for false reporting during the said trial proceeding. It was alleged in the complaint that the News media had blatantly reported that all defendants had admitted their guilt and begged for mercy from the government while ignoring the fact that none of them pleaded guilty and asked for leniency.

On Jan 6, 2009 Mr. Luat brought his 2 clients to the office of New Hanoi Newspaper to finish the legal procedure as required by the Hoan Kiem district court. He was first denied of service by the online editor citing “sensitive issue has to be handled by the editor in chief.” Mr. Luat was then lead to meet with the assistant editor in chief Le Tien Dung. After careful inspecting of the lawyer’s IDs, Mr. Dung asked the lawyer to go out so he can talk to the plaintiffs in private. Eventually Mr. Dung told them his office need to further investigation on the articles and the writers before the decision on whether (the newspaper) would publish their correction could be made.
In another legal battle, Thai Ha Catholic activists have appealed the conviction of destroying state property and disturbing of public order during a protest at the Redemptorist monastery. Court of Appeal also delays hearing through various bureaucratic maneuvers.

While declining to discuss further on the up-coming court hearing, Mr. Luat believes the outcome of the case depends on two factors:
1- The solidarity of the global Christian community and of those who promote and believe in justice and the truth.
2 – The close watch of domestic and worldwide news media.

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