NINH THUAN — In a verdicthanded down yesterday by the People's Court of the central province of Ninh Thuan, Phan Ngoc Tuan, 53, of Phuoc My Ward in the provincial city of Phan Rang-Thap Cham has been sentenced to five years imprisonment for slandering the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
Tuan was also ordered to hand over to public funds more than VND2 million ($100) which he had received from various reactionary organisations to enable him to conduct anti-Government activities.
During the trial, due to Tuan's refusal to speak or acknowledge his crimes, the judge decided to bypass the interrogation and read aloud Tuan's statement made during his detainment by police at 10am on January 3, 2012. In that statement, he admitted distributing anti-Government leaflets accusing the Vietnamese authorities of suppressing religion and isolating siblings of people who had served in the Sai Gon regime. He said that all of the anti-Government documents had been photocopied in the city of Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa Province and then transported back to Phan Rang-Thap Cham, as well as to HCM City and some localities in Ha Noi for circulation.
Tuan admitted that his son Phan Nguyen Ngoc Tu, 24, was his accomplice, helping him post anti-Government leaflets and video clips on the internet and maintain contact with reactionaries living abroad to support his anti-Government activities, including Doan Viet Trung in Australia and Nguyen Thi Hien in the US. Nguyen Cong Chinh, a Protestant from Gia Lai Province in the Central Highlands, was also named as an accomplice.
Tuan was arrested by Ninh Thuan police on August 10, 2011. — VNS