|Court trial begins for alleged terrorists. -- VNA Photo|
HCM CITY – The HCM City People’s Court yesterday (Aug 21) began the first-instance court trial for 12 defendants, members of the so-called Provisional National Government of Việt Nam, on charges of “conducting terrorism against the people’s administration” under Article 79 of Việt Nam’s 1999 Penal Code.
According to the indictment, the “Chính phủ quốc gia Việt Nam lâm thời” (Provisional National Government of Việt Nam) was previously known as the “Tân Dân Chủ” (New Democracy) organisation.
The organisation was established in the US in 1991 by Đào Minh Quân (or Đào Văn), a former lieutenant in the former US-backed Sài Gòn Army with the support of other military officers and officials of the former US-backed Saigon government.
Quân had proclaimed himself the prime minister of the organisation.
After its establishment, Quân and several other leaders of the organisation came to Vietnamese refugee camps in Hong Kong (China) and various Southeast Asian nations for recruitment. They then sent the recruits back to Việt Nam to conduct terror and sabotage activities in their homeland, according to the indictment.
Since late 2013, leaders of the “Provisional National Government of Việt Nam” had instructed their underground agents in the country to develop operational networks, establish “volunteer teams”, seek to set up bases, and purchase weapons in preparation for terror activities, according to the court.
Defendant Nguyen James Han (Nguyễn Thanh Hân), born in 1967, and Phan Angle (Phan Thị Đào) born in 1956, two Vietnamese-American citizens, were sent back to Việt Nam by Đào Minh Quân as leaders to prepare terrorism activities against Vietnamese authorities.
Nguyen James Han was brevetted “colonel” and “deputy commander of the national military forces”. In March, 2017, Han met with Đào Minh Quân and was appointed to return to Việt Nam for terror activities on April 30, 2017.
In March 28, 2017, Han entered Việt Nam and met with Phan Angle, “president of the Women’s Union of New Democracy” organisation; Nguyễn Quang Thanh, “governor of Quảng Nam Province”; Tạ Tấn Lộc, “governor of Sài Gòn”, and “head of the Gia Định sub-area”; Trần Tuấn Tài, “commander of the national defence guards” and Nguyễn Hùng Anh, “lieutenant colonel, governor of Long An Province” to transmit Đào Minh Quân’s instructions and discuss an action plan.
Han and Phan Angle assigned a mission to each member: spraying leaflets; raiding a radio station and broadcasting their organisation’s content against the people’s administration; smearing Hồ Chí Minh President’s status and organizing protests.
Under the instruction of the heads of the organisation, members living in Việt Nam used a petrol bomb to destroy 320 vehicles violating traffic laws that were being stored in a warehouse in Biên Hòa City in the southern province of Đồng Nai on April 8, 2017.
They also planned petrol bombs at a parking lot and entrance gate of the international terminal of Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City on April 22, 2017.
On July 5, 2018, a branch of the organisation caused an explosion at a police station in Tân Bình District, injuring three people.
They planned to carry out other plots to cause explosions at the headquarters of several public agencies and a number of factories. However, their plans were stopped by Vietnamese agencies.
The 12 defendants wrote letters seeking to join the overseas organisation, even though they clearly knew that the “Provisional National Government" would like to erase the leadership of the Việt Nam Communist Party and overthrow the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam.
Early this year, the Ministry of Public Security announced that the “Provisional National Government of Việt Nam” is a terrorist organisation.
Anyone who participates in propagandising and inciting others to join, sponsor and receive sponsorship from the organisation, take part in the organisation’s training courses, and follow instructions from the organisation, has committed “terrorism” or is a “terrorist sponsor”, and will be treated according to Việt Nam law.
The first-instance court trial is expected to close on August 23. — VNS