|Defendants at the court. — VNA/VNS Photo|
BÌNH THUẬN — The People’s Court of Phan Thiết City in the central province of Bình Thuận handed down prison sentences of between 2-3.5 years to 30 defendants for disturbing public order at the provincial People’s Committee headquarters in June, at a trial on Wednesday.
According to the indictment, the disturbance began in Phan Thiết City at about 5pm on June 10, when a group of people gathered and moved from Phan Thiết market to the provincial People’s Committee headquarters to protest a draft law on special administrative-economic units.
They shouted at and jostled police and guards of the building and incited bystanders to attack police with bricks and stones.
Some attacked police with homemade petrol bombs, stones and other tools, going on to destroy the fence and burn the sentry box and several rooms of the sentry force. They also damaged the fence around other provincial agencies. Traffic near the administration’s headquarters was disrupted, while several facilities were damaged.
Police were sent to the site and the crowd only began to dissolve at midnight.
Police claimed that three automobiles, 17 motorbikes and one water pump were burned down. A total 15 computers were destroyed, while two laptops were stolen. Rioters also damaged some assets of other provincial agencies and wounded many police officers.
The defendants were convicted of “causing public disorder” in accordance with Clause 2, Article 318 of the 2015 Penal Code.
The jury found their actions extremely serious, disrupting public safety and affecting the locality’s political security and social order.
To prevent similar crimes, strict punishment should be imposed, it said.
Accordingly, Nguyễn Quốc Huệ was sentenced to three years and six months in prison. Phạm Văn Chung, Trương Minh Tài, Lê Nhựt Bản, Nguyễn Quý Lai, Trần Văn Công, Tăng Thanh Thuận, each received three years in prison.
Nguyễn Tấn Thông, Trần Thế Nghĩa, Trương Gia Quốc Huy, Nguyễn Toàn Trung, Trần Minh Thiện, Nguyễn Thị Nhâm, Đỗ Văn Tài, Trần Thị Mai Hương, Trần Văn Tuấn, Trương Công Hiếu will each serve two years and six months behind bars.
The jury also gave jail sentences of two years and three months to Đỗ Văn Cơ, Đồng Kim Hùng, Nguyễn Hữu Thái, Nguyễn Đình Đồng; and two years to Phạm Minh Tùng, Đặng Ngọc Hòa, Đinh Đình Tài, Nguyễn Sinh, Đoàn Thị Hạnh Thương, Trần Trọng Tiến, Nguyễn Văn Khánh, Chung Kim Thành, and Huỳnh Hữu Long.
The jury said, during the investigation, some defendants had told the truth and admitted their acts were illegal, while some others had yet to reach 18-years-old at the time of the incident. Thus, they were given extenuating circumstances. — VNS