Vietnam jails two American subversives for 14 years

By Lan Ngoc   August 22, 2018 | 09:40 pm GMT+7

A court has found two Vietnamese Americans and 10 Vietnamese citizens guilty of trying to "overthrow the people’s administration."

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court on Wednesday sentenced Nguyen James Han, a 49-year-old man with dual American-Vietnamese citizenship, and Phan Angel, a 62-year-old American national of Vietnamese origin, to 14 years in prison followed by immediate deportation.

Phan Angel, a 62-year-old American national of Vietnamese origin. Photo by Huu Khoa

Phan Angel, a 62-year-old American national of Vietnamese origin. Photo by Huu Khoa

The court also sentenced the duo's 10 Vietnamese accomplices to 5-11 years in prison and 2-3 years of probation on the same charges. 

The indictment said the defendants were members of the "Provisional National Government of Vietnam," an organization founded by Dao Minh Quan in the U.S., which aims to overthrow the Vietnamese government through violence and acts of terrorism.

Due to limited education, lack of legal knowledge and being exposed to bad information, the defendants had formed one-sided views and had blind faith in the organization's promises of titles and other recognitions, the court heard.

They distorted the Party and the State's policies, brought the organization's members to Vietnam and recruited locals to carry out activities aimed at overthrowing the people's administration, the indictment said.

It said that in February 2017, Phan and Nguyen returned to Vietnam with plans to sabotage the country's celebration of its Reunification Day on April 30 and the International Workers' Day on May 1.

Nguyen James Han, a 49-year-old man with dual American-Vietnamese citizenship. Photo by Huu Khoa

Nguyen James Han, a 49-year-old man with dual American-Vietnamese citizenship. Photo by Huu Khoa

Phan was found to have contacted a number of the organization's members in Vietnam to carry out disruptive protests, preparing spray paints and 4,000 pamphlets for these events.

The group also allegedly planned to break into broadcasting stations to broadcast propaganda for Quan.

However, Vietnamese authorities successfully neutralized all of the organization's plans and arrested the 12 defendants between April 19 and May 17 2017.

In total, the group only managed to gather about 100 signatures in support of Quan, investigators said.

At the trial on Wednesday, 11 of the 12 defendants admitted to their crimes and asked for leniency, while Phan denied the charges.

The court concluded that the defendants' crimes were "especially serious" as they violated Vietnam's national security, political security, social order and safety and went against the country's national interests, meriting strict punishment.

Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security in January classified the "Provisional National Government of Vietnam" as a terrorist organization. It has been accused of being behind a petrol bomb attack that burnt 320 motorbikes at a police warehouse in Dong Nai Province in April 2017, as well as a failed terror attack on Tan Son Nhat Airport later that month.

The HCMC court had last December sentenced 15 Vietnamese to 5-16 years in prison for the two terror attacks.

Vietnamese authorities have also issued international arrest warrants against Quan and six others, all of whom are living in the U.S. or Canada.

 
 
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