|Nguyen James Han. —VNA/VNS Photo Thành Chung|
HCM CITY — The People’s Court of HCM City on August 22 handed out prison sentences ranging from five to 14 years to 12 defendants, all of whom are members of a reactionary organisation.
The defendants are Nguyen James Han, Phan Angel, Trương Nguyễn Minh Trí, Đỗ Tài Nhân, Nguyễn Hùng Anh, Trần Tuấn Tài, Võ Hoàng Ngọc, Đỗ Quốc Bảo, Trần Văn Vinh, Trần Quang Vinh, Nguyễn Văn Chánh, and Đỗ Thị Thùy Dung. They are members of the self-proclaimed “Chính phủ quốc gia Việt Nam lâm thời” (Provisional National Government of Việt Nam).
Nguyen James Han (a Vietnamese expatriate in the US, born in 1967) and Phan Angel (a US citizen born in 1956) each got 14 years in prison. They will also be deported from Việt Nam upon the completion of their jail terms.
Trương Nguyễn Minh Trí was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Đỗ Tài Nhân, Nguyễn Hùng Anh and Trần Tuấn Tài will each serve 10 years behind bars.
The court also gave jail sentences of nine years to Võ Hoàng Ngọc and Đỗ Quốc Bảo, eight years to Trần Văn Vinh, seven years to Trần Quang Vinh, and five years to Nguyễn Văn Chánh and Đỗ Thị Thùy Dung.
They will be kept under surveillance for two to four years after completing their prison terms.
The reactionary “Chính phủ quốc gia Việt Nam lâm thời” was set up in the US in 1990 by Đào Minh Quân (a US national born in 1952). The organisation made use of the Internet to carry out several propaganda plans aimed at developing their forces in Việt Nam, as well as distorting the policies of the Vietnamese Party and State. It also sent people from other countries to Việt Nam in order to directly sabotage activities.
According to the indictment, Nguyen James Han and Phan Angel were sent to Việt Nam by Quân to develop their force and direct other members in the country to conduct anti-State activities.
In March 2017, Đào Minh Quân directly assigned Nguyen James Han to return to Việt Nam to conduct sabotage activities during the celebrations of the Việt Nam’s National Reunification Day on April 30, 2017.
On March 28, 2017, Nguyen James Han entered Việt Nam and contacted Phan Angel to discuss the implementation of plans and disseminate Quân’s directions to other members in the country, namely Nguyễn Quang Thanh, Tạ Tấn Lộc, Trần Tuấn Tài and Nguyễn Hùng Anh.
Nguyen James Han and Phan Angel delegated tasks to each person, such as distributing leaflets, hacking into radio stations to broadcast information about their organisation and inciting protests against Taiwanese steelmaker Formosa, causing social disorder.
However, many of these activities were uncovered and prevented by authorised agencies.
The reactionary organisation also carried out many armed terrorist plots in Việt Nam, including setting fire to a traffic police warehouse storing motorcycles in Biên Hòa City, Đồng Nai Province. Its members also planted petrol bombs in HCM City’s Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in April 2017.
The indictment said the defendants’ acts were extremely serious, infringing on national security, harming national development and stability, affecting political security; social order and safety and going against the country’s interests.
Their acts constitute the offence of “conducting activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration” under Clause 1, Article 79 of the 1999 Penal Code.
Việt Nam’s Ministry of Public Security announced that the “Provisional National Government of Việt Nam” is defined as a terrorist organisation in accordance with Vietnamese and international law.
Therefore, anyone who has participated in its propaganda and incited others to join, sponsor, and receive sponsorship from the organisation; taken part in the organisation’s training courses or followed the instructions of the organisation has committed acts of “terrorism” and “terrorist sponsor” and will be treated pursuant to Vietnamese law. — VNS