|Defendants stand trial at HCM City People’s Court on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thành Chung|
HCM CITY — HCM City People’s Court on Monday opened the trial of 12 defendants charged with 'carrying out activities against the people’s Government,' according to Article 109 of the 2015 Penal Code.
The defendants are Trần Thị Ngọc Xuân (born in 1969), Nguyễn Thanh Xoan (1972), Nguyễn Thị Kim Phượng (1967), Lương Thị Thu Hiền (1968), Y Hon Ênuôl (1988), Y Phương Ding Riêh (1978), Nguyễn Minh Quang (1960), Hồ Thị Xuân Hương (1968), Lê Ngọc Thành (1972), Y Tũp Knul (1970), Phạm Hổ (1949), and Trần Văn Long (1955).
They were members and supporters of the terrorist organisation “Provisional National Government of Việt Nam,” which was founded and led by Đào Minh Quân from overseas.
Born in 1952 in then South Việt Nam and currently residing in the US, Quân is the self-proclaimed “Prime Minister” of the so-called government.
Key figures of the group have been actively recruiting members from the Central Highlands, South Central and Southern regions of the country.
Following instruction, the 12 defendants in Việt Nam have been persuading others to join the organisation, and conducted a “referendum” to make Đào Minh Quân the “President of the Third Republic of Việt Nam.”
In HCM City, defendant Trần Thị Ngọc Xuân was instructed by “Lieutenant General, Deputy Minister of Finance” Lâm Ái Huệ to become a member of the group.
Xuân often used Facebook’s live-streaming feature to call for registration and participation in the “referendum.”
From March to June 2018, Xuân coerced her husband, two children and three family acquaintances to join the organisation.
During this time, Xuân disseminated multiple documents containing distorted information from the group, also via Facebook.
On February 19, 2019, on a visit to poor households in Tam Bình Ward, Thủ Đức City, Xuân brought five printed sets of documents, which she distributed to three families.
For the duration of her membership, Xuân was gifted a mobile phone, plus sums of US$300, CAD$400, and VNĐ3 million.
Defendant Nguyễn Thanh Xoan was also talked into joining the organisation by “Senior Colonel” La Ngọc Duyên. In addition to spreading false information provided by the group, Xoan persuaded four people to vote in the “referendum”.
In the southern province of Đồng Nai, many of Lương Thị Thu Hiền's acquaintances were led to believe that she was participating in a foreign charity organisation that provides land and houses for poor people and therefore needed to collect their information for registration.
In the same province, Trần Văn Long also collected the personal details of over 20 people.
All the information was used for Đào Minh Quân’s “referendum.”
Similar activities were conducted in An Giang, Đắk Lắk, Đắk Nông, Lâm Đồng Kon Tum and Phú Yên provinces.
The defendants have also been producing the group’s flag, whose design consists of three horizontal red stripes on a yellow background, representing the now-defunct Republic of Vietnam.
The documents they printed and distributed include a “Provisional constitution,” a “Constitution of the Third Republic of Việt Nam” and a “Biography brief of Prime Minister Đào Minh Quân.”
The trial is expected to be over by Tuesday. — VNS