A MAN has been sentenced in Vietnam to 12 years in prison for the unlawful killing of a man in Newport in 2006.

Tran Nguyen, who was 44, died at the Royal Gwent Hospital on November 20, 2006, after being brought in in badly beaten and unconscious.

In 2008, after a four-month trial at Cardiff Crown Court, three people were convicted and sentenced for manslaughter. However, a further suspect, 47 year-old Tu Minh Le, fled to Vietnam.


Gwent Police, along with the National Crime Agency and the Vietnamese authorities, continued the investigation in order to get justice for Tran Nguyen and his family.

And yesterday, Tu Minh Le went on trial at the People's Court of Hung Yen Province, and has been sentenced to 12 years for unlawful killing.

He will serve his prison sentence in Vietnam.

South Wales Argus:

Tran Nguyen died at the Royal Gwent Hospital in November 2006 after being brought in in badly beaten and unconscious. Picture: Gwent Police.

Detective Chief Inspector Justin O’Keefe has worked on the case throughout.

“This was the first time a trial was held in Vietnam for a foreign offence, it’s taken years of work liaising with a range of authorities, but we never lost hope that we would see the outcome we now have," he said.

“This has been one of the most logistically challenging enquiries ever faced by Gwent Police. For a considerable time we didn’t know the identity of the victim or the circumstances leading to his death.

“This outcome demonstrates the commitment of all authorities, to work together to bring offenders to justice.

“I’d like to thank Ministry Of Public Security in Vietnam who have progressed the prosecution on our behalf, together with the National Crime Agency.”

South Wales Argus:

Tu Minh Le has been convicted for the unlawful killing of a man in Newport in 2006. Picture: Gwent Police.

NCA Head of Region for Asia Pacific, Mark Bishop, said: “This was a truly landmark case which came about because of unprecedented co-operation between the NCA, Gwent Police and the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security. We worked closely with them to exchange evidence, resulting in this conviction.

“Tran Nguyen’s family have been through a horrendous ordeal and have had to wait 14 years for this verdict. I hope it brings some form of comfort or closure to them.

“It demonstrates that no matter what the offence or where in the world offenders may be, we can track them down and we can bring them to justice.”