The suspect, 29-year-old Nguyen Van Duc from Long Thanh District was arrested on October 8 in a rented room. The police said Duc didn’t know sign language for the deaf and could only communicate through gestures.
The police thus had to ask two sign language specialists to help questioning him.
Duc told the specialists he had wanted to steal from a phone shop and hit the man who tried to catch him.
However, a lawyer from the Ho Chi Minh City Bar has warned the police about the accuracy of such questioning.
“No one can know for sure if Duc and the specialists fully understood each other,” he said.
“It is likely that only Duc’s mother or father can fully understand him through his gestures.”
The lawyer also said Duc should have a legal representative during the questioning process and advised the police to invite somebody who is close to him to act on his behalf.
A source told the police that Duc had a girl friend who took him to the hospital to treat his injuries caused in his fight with the two men who tried to catch him.
After Duc was hospitalized, the girl disappeared.
Duc and the girl have been living as husband and wife, the source said.
However, Duc refused to talk about the girl with the specialists.
In the early morning of October 4, Nguyen Van Tang, 43, a resident of Hiep Phuoc Commune, caught Duc using an iron bar to force open the door of a mobile phone shop next to his house.
Tang rushed toward him and shouted for help.
While fighting with Tang, Duc struck him in the head with the iron bar.
Tang then fell to the ground and passed out. Another resident then showed up to fight with Duc, who later ran into an alley where he parked his motorbike and drove away.
Tang was taken to Cho Ray Hospital in HCMC but died one day later.
The police launched an investigation and suspected Duc, who have previous convictions and have left his residence for years.
The police then sent wanted notices for Duc to many hospitals and health centers since they thought Duc could need medical treatment for his injuries.
They also asked all boarding houses to report any suspicious guest. Three days later, a hospital called the police.
But when they arrived, the suspect had escaped.
On October 8, after being informed by the owner of a boarding house, the police rushed to the scene and arrested Duc in his rented room.
At present, they are searching for Duc’s girlfriend.