Nguyễn Khanh at Monday trial in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Thành Chung
HCM CITY — The trial of Nguyễn Khanh, his son Nguyễn Tấn Thành and 18 others for “carrying out terrorist activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration” began at the HCM City People’s Court on Monday.
The defendants were also charged with illegally trading of explosives.
According to the indictment, Khanh, 56, had a leading role in the bombing of the Ward 12 police station in the city’s Tân Bình District on June 20, 2018.
The attack, in which two small explosive devices were set off, injured three people, including an officer, and caused damage to property.
Khanh, a native of Đồng Nai Province in southern Mekong Delta, possibly faces the death penalty.
Thành, 30, told the court his father had instructed him to make explosives with remotely activated detonators.
The city police said the duo and their associates belong to an exile group based in Canada that seeks to overthrow the Government.
Both defendants admitted to having a close relationship with Ngô Văn Hoàng Hùng or Ngô Hùng, currently living in the US, the self-proclaimed commander-in-chief of the so-called “Triều Đại Việt” (Việt Dynasty organisation), which was founded in 2017.
Triều Đại Việt was behind the bombing, according to the police.
Hùng was given a life sentence in Việt Nam in 1979 but fled to Canada and remains at large. The group spreads its message through Facebook and YouTube, according to the police.
Hùng transferred VNĐ315 million, CA$1,600 and US$100 to Khanh to recruit more members and make explosives to be set off at various police stations.
He also appointed Khanh ‘governor’ of the ‘Đồng Nai autonomous region’ and Thanh, a ‘major general’.
The prosecution said that on Hùng’s orders Khanh instructed Nguyễn Trung Trực to buy 12kg of TNT, 45 detonators and other materials required to make bombs.
Canada-based Triều Đại Việt, whose motto is to “fire all”, “kill all”, “destroy all”, “steal all”, had also planned to bomb the houses of some officials, but were stopped in time, the police said.
Triều Đại Việt was founded by former key members of the US-based Provisional National Government of Việt Nam, a reactionary and terrorist organisation that aims to overthrow the leadership of the Communist Party of Việt Nam.
Bomb blasts are rare in Việt Nam.
Anyone found guilty of trying to overthrow the people’s administration face a penalty of 12 - 20 years’ imprisonment, life imprisonment or death under the Penal Code.
Anyone found guilty of establishing or joining a terrorist organisation or an organisation sponsoring terrorism, forcing or persuading other people to participate in terrorism, recruiting or training terrorists, manufacturing for or supplying weapons to terrorists, or infringing upon bodily integrity or well-being of officials or others face 10 - 15 years’ imprisonment.
The trial is expected to run until September 23. — VNS
The site of the explosion at a police station in Tân Bình District in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Thành Chung