The police in Vietnam’s Thai Binh province have detained a former National Assembly delegate known for his outspoken views.
They issued an arrest warrant for Luu Binh Nhuong on Nov. 14 along with an order to search his home.
Nhuong is being investigated in connection with the crime of property appropriation.
According to the Thai Binh police website the warrant was issued following an investigation into convicted criminal Pham Minh Cuong, who is also a suspect in a property appropriation case.
In May, the Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper said the police found that Cuong and his associates were illegally using tidal flats to mine sand and forcing businesses to buy it off them, making millions of Vietnamese dong in profits.
Lawyer Le Van Hoa, formerly director of the Central Internal Affairs Commission, told Radio Free Asia he was shocked to hear that Luu Binh Nhuong was implicated in the case.
“I was surprised that it was a person who has long been praised by the public as one of the very rare National Assembly deputies with a very strong voice defending what is right in the National Assembly.
“But if the investigation agency has enough documents to conclude that Luu Binh Nhuong’s property crime is real, I will be really happy.”
Hoa explained that if Nhuong is found guilty, it means the fight against corruption initiated and led by Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has achieved positive results.
Luu Binh Nhuong was a member of the 14th National Assembly of Vietnam for the 2016-2021 term and a member of the National Assembly’s Social Affairs Committee. He is currently deputy head of the National Assembly’s People’s Petitions Committee.
He was not recommended for re-election as a member of the 15th National Assembly because he was too old.
During the November 2018 National Assembly session, Nhuong criticized the Ministry of Public Security and said the police had made “terrible mistakes.”
He also spoke out against the execution of Le Van Manh, who had protested his innocence in a rape and murder case, claiming the police had beaten him to force him to confess.
Translated by RFA Vietnamese. Edited by Mike Firn and Taejun Kang.