Son La court sentences defendants in exam scandal
The People’s Court of northwestern Son La province on May 29 announced punishment for 12 defendants involved in score manipulations in the 2018 national high school examinations.
Defendant Lo Van Huynh, former head of the division for examination and educational quality management at the Son La provincial Department of Education and Training, at the trial (Photo: VNA)
According to the indictment from the Son La provincial People’s Procuracy, the defendants took advantage of their positions and power for self-interest. Via relations with family, friends, and colleagues, they colluded with one another to raise the scores of 44 examination takers.
The court said the defendants’ actions were dangerous for society, offended teachers’ honour, caused inequality among examination takers, and stirred public concern, and so must be strictly handled to ensure future deterrence.
Among those found guilty of both “receiving bribes” and “abusing position and power while performing duties”, Lo Van Huynh (former head of the division for examination and educational quality management at the Son La provincial Department of Education and Training) will spend 21 years in jail, including 15 years and six months for “receiving bribes” and five years and six months for “abusing position and power while performing duties”.
Nguyen Thi Hong Nga (former specialist at the division for examination and educational quality management ) was given a 15-year prison sentence for the former and a further four years and six months for the latter, totalling 19 years and six months behind bars.
Cam Thi Bun Son (former deputy head of the department’s division for politics and ideology) was sentenced to six years and four years behind bars for the two offences.
The court also decided to imprison Tran Xuan Yen (former Deputy Director of the Department of Education and Training) for nine years, ban him from serving in any official position for five years, and fine him 50 million VND (2,200 USD) for “abusing position and power while performing duties”.
Guilty of the same offence, Dang Huu Thuy (former Vice Rector of To Hieu High School) was sentenced to eight years in prison and fined 20 million VND, while Nguyen Thanh Nhan (former deputy head of the division for examination and educational quality management) will spend 30 months in prison.
Do Khac Hung and Dinh Hai Son, former cadres of the internal political security division at the provincial Department of Public Security, received suspended sentences of three years and 24 months.
For “offering bribes”, Nguyen Minh Khoa (former deputy head of the internal political security division at the Department of Public Security) was given a jail sentence of eight years, while Tran Van Dien (a former cadre at the Chieng Coi Primary and Junior High School) received a sentence of nine years and a fine of 10 million VND.
Hoang Thi Thanh (former Chairwoman of the Farmers’ Union in Son La province’s Quynh Nhai district) and Lo Thi Truong (a resident of Son La city) were given suspended sentences of three years and 30 months. Both were freed at the first-instance trial, which began on May 21./.