Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The High-Level People’s Court in HCM City on Monday upheld prison sentences for five defendants for “attempting to overthrow the people’s administration”.
The defendants include Lưu Văn Vịnh (born in 1967, residing in Bình Tân district of HCM City), Nguyễn Quốc Hoàn (born in 1977, residing in district 10 of HCM City), Nguyễn Văn Đức Độ (born in 1975, residing in Tân Phú district of HCM City), Phan Trung (born in 1976, residing in Đức Trọng district of Lâm Đồng province), and Từ Công Nghĩa (born in 1993, residing in Ninh Thuận province).
According to the verdict of the first-instance trial on October 5, 2018, they established a reactionary organisation named “Liên minh dân tộc Việt Nam” (Việt Nam National Self-Determination Coalition) with Vịnh as its President. They defamed and distorted guidelines and policies of the Party and the State, aiming to abolish the leadership role of the Communist Party of Việt Nam and overthrow the State of the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam.
As the mastermind, Vịnh set forth the objectives and orientations for operations of the group and lured people into this organisation.
Độ, who was Vice President, worked actively to develop the organisation. Meanwhile, Hoàn and Trung served as advisors to Vịnh in the group’s establishment. Nghĩa was in charge of “military affairs” and recruiting people into the group.
They carried out various communication activities to incite the public, coordinated with dissidents, and participated in illegal demonstrations.
On October 30, 2016, they held a preparatory meeting and agreed to announce the launch of the organisation at a church in Tân Binh district of HCM City on November 6, 2016.
However, Vịnh and Hoàn were arrested by local police on November 6, 2016.
At the first-instance trial, the HCM City People’s Court gave prison sentences of 15 years to Vịnh, 13 years to Hoàn, 11 years to Độ, 10 years to Nghĩa, and 8 years to Trung. They would be also kept under surveillance after completing their jail sentences.
The defendants filed appeals. However, the appeal court stated that they failed to provide new circumstances, so their appeals were groundless. It rejected the appeals and upheld the first-instance trial’s sentences imposed on the five men. VNS