News from The Associated Press: Report: Man Confesses to Killing Priest
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Report: Man Confesses to Killing Priest
.c The Associated Press
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - The traveling companion of a Vietnamese-born British priest slain in January has confessed to his killing, state-controlled media reported.
Christopher Doan Thanh, 27, also a Vietnamese-born British citizen, was arrested Jan. 25 in Hue, 405 miles south of Hanoi, on charges he fatally stabbed Peter Dao Duc Diem, 63, a Roman Catholic priest from London, the official Vietnam News Agency said.
Police declined comment, and Vietnamese officials were not immediately available Saturday. No motive was specified, and it was unclear when Thanh would be brought to trial.
The two men had checked into a hotel together on Jan. 23 after flying from Hanoi. Thanh had identified himself as Diem's adopted son, VNA said.
Thanh initially denied involvement, but later confessed after blood stains on his shirt matched the priest's blood, the agency said.
Thanh told police he stabbed Diem on the night of Jan. 24 and then left the hotel to go boating with four women he met on the flight from Hanoi, VNA said.
Thanh dumped his bloodstained clothes and the knife into the river before returning the next morning to the hotel, telling authorities he had not been there when the murder took place, VNA said. Police later recovered the clothes from the river.
Diem was ordained in Vietnam in 1969. Ten years later, after 14 unsuccessful attempts, he escaped his homeland by sea. Diem was on his first trip back to Vietnam when he was murdered.
03/22/03 02:16 EST