Vietnamese woman escapes death penalty by getting pregnant
Four guards suspended after male inmate leaves plastic bag of semen and syringe for Nguyen Thi Hue, who was sentenced to death in Vietnam's biggest ever narcotics trial
A Vietnamese woman has escaped execution after paying a fellow inmate to bring her a plastic bag of semen and a syringe so that she could become pregnant while on death row.
Under Vietnamese law, pregnant women or those with children under three years of age cannot be executed.
The Thanh Nien newspaper reported that Nguyen Thi Hue, 42, was arrested in 2012 for drug trafficking and sentenced to death in 2014. A court rejected her appeal the same year.
It said she paid $2300 (€2,064) to a male inmate to help her conceive.
Officials said the 27-year-old prisoner then twice deposited his own semen in a rather homemade sperm bank, which he left hidden with a syringe for Hue to collect.
She is due to give birth in about two months and will have her death sentence commuted to life imprisonment.
Four officers at the prison in the north of the country have been suspended for negligence.
Police in Quang Ninh province were not available for comment on Tuesday.
It is not the first time a women has escaped death by becoming pregnant in a Vietnamese prison. In 2006, Nguyen Thi Oang became pregnant on death row after her sister paid 1.5 million dong (€64) to a guard to allow visits from a male prisoner.
In 2007, two prison guards in northern province of Hoa Binh were sentenced for up to five years in prison for abuse of power for allowing a female inmate to get pregnant with a male inmate.
Vietnam has some of the harshest drug laws in the world. Anyone convicted of trafficking, illegally producing or transporting 100 grams or more of heroin or cocaine can be sentenced to death.
Hue was one of 30 drug smugglers sentenced to death in Vietnam's largest ever narcotics case, involving scores of defendants and nearly two tons of heroin
The communist country only dropped execution by firing squad in 2013, opting instead for lethal injection. However, shortages of the necessary drugs have led to frequent calls for a return to the firing squad.