Tran Thuy Lieu, who burnt her journalist husband to death in January, may have had an accomplice, Long An Provincial police revealed.
Journalist Hoang Hung was set on fire at his house
Lieu, 40, has been under detention since February 20, when she finally pleaded guilty to killing Le Hoang Hung, 51, a journalist at Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper, a month earlier.
During the first month following her husband’s death, Lieu insisted that she had not known who had committed the murder and called for police to continue their investigations. Police said she may have accomplices who encouraged her to deny her guilt during this time.
Police point to several contradictions in Lieu’s testimonies and the evidence collected by the investigation agency. They intend to investigate the evidence of collusion in her husband’s murder.
The murdered journalist was a former soldier in the Vietnamese army who during his 32-year career as a reporter had developed a reputation as a dogged journalist covering social issues, underworld gangs and corruption.
On January 19, while asleep in his bed at home in Long An, Hung was doused in petrol and set on fire. He died in hospital 10 days later.
After her confession, his wife Lieu told the press that she had not wanted to kill Hung, but only wanted to “warn” her husband.
She also told the police that her crime stemmed from a domestic conflict arising from her gambling.
Lieu reportedly implored her husband to sell their house to repay her gambling debts, but he refused. Her debts were said to total VND1 billion (USD48,379) from her trips to Cambodian casinos.
Nguyen Van Tam, former head of a market management team in Long An Province, allegedly lent Lieu VND150 million (USD7,256) for gambling.
Tam himself frequently accompanied her on the gambling trips.
Tam is suspected of having been Lieu’s extramarital lover after love letters written by Lieu to Tam were found.
The investigation agency said before her confession, Lieu received a lot of phone calls and texts from Tam. However, Tam continues to deny that he had a close relationship with Lieu despite the investigation agency verifying that Tam and Lieu had met each other at hotels on several occasions.
Tam was dismissed from his post as the head of a market management team in Long An Province and expelled from the party.
According to the investigation agency, they will conclude their investigation by the end of July and transfer the case to the People’s Procuracy to bring the case to court.
On February 15, the Ministry of Public Security dispatched a team to work with investigators in Long An to further investigate the case.
The murdered journalist
Tran Thuy Lieu