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Vietnam prosecutes 12 accused of attempting to overthrow Government
The Saigon Times Daily
Tuesday,  Aug 21, 2018,19:18 (GMT+7)

Vietnam prosecutes 12 accused of attempting to overthrow Government

The Saigon Times Daily

The defendants appear for their first-instance hearing at the HCMC People’s Court today, August 21 – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – The HCMC People’s Court today, August 21, started a first-instance hearing against 12 defendants on alleged charges of engaging in activities to overthrow the people’s administration, in line with Article 79 of the 1999 Penal Code, reported the Vietnam News Agency.

The defendants are Nguyen James Han, Phan Angel, Tran Tuan Tai, Nguyen Hung Anh, Do Tai Nhan, Truong Nguyen Minh Tri, Vo Hoang Ngoc, Do Quoc Bao, Tran Van Vinh, Tran Quang Vinh, Nguyen Van Chanh and Do Thi Thuy Dung.

They are the members of a U.S.-based terrorist organization, known as the “Provisional National Government of Vietnam,” which was founded in 1990 by former soldiers and refugees of the now-defunct U.S.-backed Republic of Vietnam (ROV) regime.

The organization is led by Dao Minh Quan, 66, a U.S. national and former ROV soldier. Last August, the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security issued an arrest warrant for Quan for “terrorism to oppose the people’s administration.”

Since late 2013, Quan, who proclaimed himself the “prime minister,” and other key members have consolidated this organization and conducted various propaganda campaigns to distort the policies of the Vietnamese Party and the State.

Besides this, they have established contacts with the Vietnamese people at home and have sent Vietnamese expats back to the country to carry out acts of sabotage.

The court stated in the indictment that Han, 51, a Vietnamese expatriate in the United States, and Angel, 62, a U.S. citizen, were sent to Vietnam to recruit members for the organization and direct other members in the country to carry out anti-State activities.

In March 2017, Quan directly assigned Han to return to Vietnam to carry out acts of sabotage during Vietnam’s Reunification Day on April 30.

Han entered Vietnam in late March and contacted Angel to disseminate Quan’s directions to other members in the country, including Nguyen Quang Thanh, Ta Tan Loc, Tai and Anh, and to discuss the execution of their plans.

Han and Angel assigned specific tasks to each individual, such as distributing leaflets, breaking into radio stations to broadcast information about their organization, spraying paint to deface the public statues of former Vietnamese State President Ho Chi Minh, and protesting against Taiwanese steel maker Formosa.

However, most of the activities were uncovered and prevented by the competent authorities.

According to the indictment, the defendants actively became members of the organization, despite being well aware that the organization aims to abolish the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and overthrow the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

They were accused of inciting more than 100 people to join the organization, vote for Quan to be president of the so-called Third Republic of Vietnam, and engage in sabotage.

In addition, the reactionary organization used to conduct many armed terrorist activities in Vietnam.

One of the armed groups, Phuong Hoang, used petrol bombs to set fire to a warehouse storing motorcycles that were seized by the police for violating traffic rules in Bien Hoa City in the southern province of Dong Nai. The group also planted petrol bombs at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC in April 2017.

The latest act of terror was unleashed by the Viet Nguyen Dynasty, which had separated from the Provisional National Government of Vietnam. The group bombed the police station in Ward 12 in HCMC’s Tan Binh District, injuring three persons.

Under the 1999 Penal Code, the execution of activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration is a crime punishable by 12-20 years in prison, life imprisonment or death for the organizers, instigators and active participants, while accomplices could face five to 15 years in prison.

The trial is scheduled to last until this Thursday, August 23.

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