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  • Suspended Sentence in Physicist's Death
Jun 2007
HANOI, Vietnam, June 19, 2007 -- A Hanoi court has handed down a one-year suspended sentence in connection with an accident that killed a prominent Vietnamese physicist, local news outlets reported yesterday.

Electrician Dang Van Ha, who was originally charged with manslaughter, was found guilty of violating traffic regulations and given the suspended sentence, Vietnam newspaper Thanh Nien Daily reported. In Hanoi in December 2006, Ha drove his motorcycle into a cars-only lane and hit professor Nguyen Van Dao, who was walking in the lane. The court said Dao, who died the next day, was partly to blame for the accident.

Dao, an expert in nonlinear oscillation systems, founded the Vietnam National Institute of Mechanics and was the first director of Hanoi National University. He had also served as deputy director of the Vietnam National Institute of Science. In 2000, he won the Ho Chi Minh Prize for Science and Technology, Vietnam’s most prestigious science honor, the newspaper said.

According to the article, Ha will not serve jail time but will be monitored and required to report to police regularly. Dao's son asked the court to pass a light sentence on Ha and didn't ask for compensation.

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) International University Vietnam, where Dao was senior advisor, announced the establishment of a mathematics scholarship in his name shortly after Dao's death.

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