The defendants at the trial. VNA Photo
CẦN THƠ – The People’s Court of Thới Lai district in Cần Thơ City on October 28 announced prison sentences ranging from two years to four and a half years for Trương Châu Hữu Danh and members of the “Báo sạch” group.
The defendants were sentenced on the charge of "abusing the rights to freedom and democracy to violate the interests of the State and the legitimate rights and interests of organisations and citizens” under Article 331 of the 2015 Penal Code (revised and supplemented in 2017).
Danh, 39 from the southern province of Long An, received a jail term of four and a half years.
36-year-old Đoàn Kiên Giang and 39-year-old Lê Thế Thắng, from HCM City and Hà Nội, each was sentenced to three years in prison.
Nguyễn Phước Trung Bảo, 39, from Đà Nẵng City, and Nguyễn Thanh Nhã, 41, from HCM City, each will spend two years in jail.
They are banned from journalism practice within three years after they complete the jail terms.
According to the indictment, in August 2019, Danh and his accomplices created the Facebook fanpage named “Báo sâch,” a group named “Làm báo sạch” and a Youtube channel named “BS Channel” to post 47 articles and video clips on issues of public concern.
The articles and video clips posted by the group used unverified, untrue, and one-sided information that intentionally misled public opinions, causing misunderstanding and creating conditions for negative comments, thus inciting people to oppose guidelines of the Party, and policies and laws of the State.
Their acts have also affected the management work in localities, triggered confusion, suspicion in the public and undermined public trust in the State and all-level authorities in social management.
During the investigation, Danh and his accomplices admitted to their wrongdoings.
After Danh was arrested in late 2020, the remaining members left the group. Thắng removed the Facebook page and Youtube channel and left the "Làm báo sạch" group. VNS