New trial for Vietnamese accused of restaurant slayings

24th December 2007, Comments 0 comments

Five Vietnamese men accused of robbing and killing seven staff at a Chinese restaurant in Germany will be given a new trial.

23 December 2007

Stade, Germany (dpa) - Five Vietnamese men accused of robbing and killing seven staff at a Chinese restaurant in Germany will be given a new trial, the court hearing their case said Thursday.

The current proceedings, which began at the end of August in the town of Stade, near Hamburg, had been halted because one of the judges was seriously ill, a court spokesman said.

The trial will begin anew on January 9, he said.

The original trial had made slow progress because of a dispute over witnesses and claims by defence counsel that key papers were served too late and that the judges were biased.

Lawyers said the defendants had not understood translations by a team of court-paid Vietnamese interpreters, who had attended one of the hearings.

Seven people were bound and slain in the attack in the nearby country town of Sittensen, after the restaurant closed late on February 4.

Five staff from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong were tied up and shot along with popular local restaurant owner Danny WingHong Fan, 32, and his 28-year-old wife, both British citizens. Only their baby survived.

Police say three Vietnamese entered the restaurant to steal valuables at gunpoint and may have killed the workers in panic. The other two defendants were part of the plot, police say.

The Vietnamese have denied to police that they were the killers.

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