Vietnam police arrest U.S. deportee on suspicion of murdering girlfriend

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FILE PHOTO: Vietnamese deportee and Amerasian Bui Thanh Hung, who was deported from the U.S., speaks with Reuters at a cafe in the suburbs of Ho Chi Minh City

HANOI (Reuters) - A Vietnamese man deported from the United States under a push by the Trump administration to expel immigrants convicted of crimes in the United States has been arrested on suspicion of murder in Vietnam.

Bui Thanh Hung, a Vietnamese-American who was deported from the United States in December 2017, was arrested by police after attacking his girlfriend with a knife in the southern province of Tien Giang, state media reported on May 7.

Hung, an Amerasian born in 1973 to a Vietnamese mother and an American soldier who died during the Vietnam War, was convicted of domestic violence in the United States in 2010, he told Reuters in a 2018 interview.

He spent six years in a U.S. prison before being deported to Vietnam in 2017.

The expulsions were carried out despite a 2008 agreement that Vietnamese immigrants who arrived in the United States prior to 1995, many of whom had supported the now defunct U.S.-backed state of South Vietnam, would not be sent back.

Hung admitted murder after his arrest, state media said.

Under Vietnam's penal code, the penalty for murder can range between a minimum sentence of seven years in prison to the death penalty.

Neither Hung nor his lawyer could be immediately reached for comment. The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi was unable to provide immediate comment.

(Reporting by James Pearson; Editing by Ed Davies and Nick Macfie)