A court in the Central Highlands of Vietnam has sentenced a farmer to death for murdering three people in a land dispute between him and a local company, state media reported on Thursday.
The court in Dak Nong province handed the death sentence to Dang Van Hien, 41, for shooting the trio to death and injuring 16 others with the help of two other farmers. Accomplices Ninh Viet Binh and Ha Van Truong were sentenced to 20 and 12 years in prison respectively.
The shooting occurred after Nguyen Thien Suu, the owner of Long Son Limited Company, sent his staff to clear a site in Tuy Duc district of Dak Nong province that Hien had cultivated for years.
The company’s staff destroyed Hien’s farming, causing a loss of 3,300 dollars. Hien opened fire on a group of forestry workers, killing 3 and injuring 16.
For his part, Suu was sentenced to six years in prison for destroying Hien’s property. Another company worker, Pham Cong Thien, was sentenced to four years in prison.
The death sentence of the farmer has sparked controversy in local and social media as most people are criticizing the death sentence for the farmer as he committed the crime as a result of wrongdoing from the company.
Critics online said Hien and the two farmers should have been tried under Article 95, murdering people under provocation that carries a maximum of seven years in prison.