5 Dec 2005

Nguyen Khoa returns to his reality

Something that the world should have known before last Friday

From: The Australian

NGUYEN Tuong Van's brother, Nguyen Khoa, repeatedly slashed a teenager with a samurai sword, seriously wounding the 17-year-old's arm, buttock, ankle and left knee.

Khoa was sentenced to three years in jail for the 1998 attack, which resulted in the victim requiring plastic surgery. But County Court judge Meryl Sexton suspended the jail term because Khoa's "personal situation ... (had) become so traumatic because of (his) brother's situation".

Details of Khoa's conviction can be published today for the first time after Judge Sexton yesterday lifted a publication restriction imposed to avoid jeopardising Van's plea for clemency.

Khoa faced court in June last year, where he pleaded guilty to riotous assembly and recklessly causing serious injury.

In December 1998, Khoa was involved in a brawl between Asian and Islander youths in a park in the northern Melbourne suburb of Reservoir.

The prosecution alleged that Khoa armed himself with a samurai sword and struck Glen Kohu repeatedly, causing him serious injury.

Judge Sexton said Mr Kohu was confined to a wheelchair after the attack, forced to leave school and had since struggled to maintain employment. The trial took more than four years to reach the County Court, in part because of concerns about the effect it would have on the Singapore trial of Van, who was arrested in December 2002. In April 2003, Judge Sexton agreed to adjourn the case because of Van's trial in Singapore.

"Amongst the reasons for my doing so which I can refer to was the effect on you of having your twin brother awaiting trial in Singapore for a capital offence," Judge Sexton said.

Khoa is a convicted drug trafficker. Van claimed in his trial he had been trying to smuggle heroin to pay for his brother's mounting legal bills.

The court heard that Khoa, now 25, left home against his mother's wishes, abused drugs and alcohol and was a frequent customer of Melbourne's Crown casino. He had also previously served time for drug-trafficking offences and was released from prison in July 2002.

Judge Sexton said Van's arrest resulted in "an increase in (the) level of (Khoa's) maturity" but that he had relapsed into heroin use in 2003, possibly as a result of his brother's arrest in Singapore.

Judge Sexton said Khoa's crimes warranted a custodial sentence of three years, which she suspended for three years in recognition of Khoa's personal circumstances.

Khoa was in Singapore this week for the execution of his brother. Van's lawyer, Lex Lasry QC, said yesterday Khoa had been distressed following the hanging but denied he was suicidal. "He's in a most tragic situation but hopefully today for him is the start of the rest of his life," he said.

"And what we want Khoa to do is take inspiration from his brother, not guilt, and move forward and carve out a life for himself in a way that his brother would want him to."


Anonymous said...

"And what we want Khoa to do is take inspiration from his brother, not guilt, and move forward and carve out a life for himself in a way that his brother would want him to."


Give the guy a chance. One chance.
Surely the brother would have wanted his death not to be in vain.

Give Khoa one chance. If he fucks up then crucify him. But give him a chance.
If this doesn't change him, then criticise him.

He's got to think about his mother. Give the mother a chance

Sam said...

Why is it something the world should have known before Van Nguyen was hanged? Does it change that fact that a young man was murdered for trafficking drugs (whatever his reason)? The fact that Khoa Nguyen's record is an issue, just goes to show that a publication restriction was necessary. A young man's life was a stake.

Truth said...

All this simply shows is that when it comes to the death penalty, many of those in opposition would go to any lengths to either be economical with the truth or to in fact engage in fabrications. I am glad that Sister Susan Chia is not one such person. Her opposition comes from her conscience, and that I can respect.

I note that the other two Australian broadsheets, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, which have far larger circulations than The Australian, have not delved into Khoa's history, which would would put into perspective why he suddenly appeared on the scene just some 2 weeks ago. If they were to carry these same revelations can we then conclude that instead of 47% of Australians being in favour of the hanging (just 1 day before the hanging) and 46% against, that the proportion in favour would grow significantly? Clearly the family background does matter to many people, and even the Australian court realised this and that's why it suppressed these revelations until only recently.

momochan said...

I agree with Sam.
Details about Khoa's criminal past does not change one thing -That a young drug trafficker was hanged.
The whole "sensationalisation" of Van is somewhat disturbing. Would we have felt anything different towards amrozi if he was young, and claimed to have repented and was sorry?
Why do we almost all unanimously feel that Van was sincerely sorry for what he had done? Why do we believe him and why do we want him to be spared?
If there is anything to be taken from the whole execution case, it is that people make mistakes, in the face of these wrongdoings, we own up and say we are sorry, maybe even accept the consequences of our what we have done. We also learn that we are indeed a lucky country , that there are differences (to our surprise) that people and governments have diff takes on the value of life and in some cases, up to the discretion of some to take lives away by law.

Anonymous said...

You got it all wrong, people. Everyone deserves a second chance.
and please give Nguyen family a break for God sake!!!!!!!!

porridge said...

Note the fairly tepid reaction to the entire case by the very large Vietnamese community in Australia. That speaks volumes.

Anonymous said...

I think it is difficult to say. I may not be christian, but I think this blogger has some good logic too!

Anonymous said...

Myth 1
Everybody deserves a second chance? Killing Van doesn't help? Hell NO! It does help, it deters people from committing the same crime! It informs and make an example for people to know that this is no laughing matter! Less of these potential criminals, lesser the likelihood of these crimes

Myth 2
Killing drug trafficker is not changing the landscape of the global's drug trade! Hell NO! Supply Chain - drug trade is a massive supply chain - drug couriers are the most vital transporters in this chain. How will Walmart, Metro be doing if there is one day a total shortage of the insignificant delivery-man?! Interpolate and the situation for drug trade is not too much a difference!

Myth 3
He's young, he's doing the first time to bail a brother! He's leaving behind a mother. He's a helpful informant! Damn! Hell NO! HE's young, yes! But not immature! He's doing it first time, well, who knows?! Also if I rape someone for the first time does it make it lesser than a rape? He's out to bail his brother. Well, he could have taken a better path than this. He's leaving behind his mother, he's just plainly unfilial! A man should think before he act, not crying over spill milk!

Oh Hell yeah! Now this is truly "Why Van must die!" Should he be truly repentent, then God will have mercy on his soul. For Christians, shouldn't be passing over to the kingdom of Christ be a joyous thing? Well, if unless of course, he's a sinner most deserving of Hell!