HCM CITY (VNS)— The Court of Appeals at the HCM City Chamber of the Supreme People's Court yesterday commuted Lo Thanh Thao's prison sentence from three and a half years to two years.
Thao, born in southern Dong Nai province in 1977, was charged with "conducting propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam". When she is released she will have to serve two years' probation, according to the court.
In court, Thao pleaded guilty to all charges declared by the lower court, showed repentance for her wrongdoings, and begged the jury to reduce her sentence
She said she was incited and exploited by bad people and did not have anti-State sentiment. In addition, her family conditions were very difficult, with an old mother lacking care, she added.
According to the indictment, in early 2010, Thao became acquainted with Nguyen Thi Nhi from the United States via the internet, and received a telephone, a laptop and US$490 from Nhi to spread leaflets with content against the Vietnamese State .
On March 20, 2012, Thao took 2,000 leaflets from Dong Nai province to Thu Thiem Bridge, Binh Thanh District, HCM City, to spread around the city.
Four days later, she flyposted more leaflets in District 1. Thao filmed and photographed her work and emailed her actions to Nhi.
On March 26, Thao was arrested by Binh Tan District police when she was found taking photos of complainants gathering at a restricted area. — VNS