The People’s Court of HCM City on June 24 sentenced a Vietnamese-American and two Vietnamese citizens to a total 30 years in prison for engaging in activities to overthrow the people’s administration.
Nguyen Michael Phuong Minh at court
US citizen Nguyen Michael PhuongMinh, born 1964, was given a 12-year sentence, while Huynh Duc Thanh Binh, born1996 and residing in HCM City’s District 10, got 10 years in prison and TranLong Phi, born 1998 and residing in Dong Nai province’s Bien Hoa city, got 8years.
Nguyen Michael Phuong Minh willbe deported from Vietnam after serving his time in prison.
A fourth defendant in the case,Huynh Duc Thinh, who is father of Huynh Duc Thanh Binh, was imprisoned for oneyear on the charge of not denouncing criminals.
The judging council said the defendants’acts were especially serious, posing danger to society and directly harming the existence of the people’s government and the State of the SocialistRepublic of Vietnam, thus calling for strict punishment.
At the trial, all the defendantsadmitted to their criminal acts as prosecuted.
The trio Minh, Binh and Phicoordinated with a man named Le Quoc Phong to establish an organisation called “Quocnoi quat khoi”, which drew up plans to buy weapons, conduct propaganda to incitepeople to join demonstrations and occupy government offices in Hanoi and Ho ChiMinh City, as well as instigate riots towards overthrowing the government ofthe Socialist Republic of Vietnam and abolishing the leadership role of theCommunist Party of Vietnam.
To carry out their schemes, NguyenMichael Phuong Minh gave Phong 2,000 USD. Minh also came to Vietnam in August2017 and March 2018 to meet Binh for discussion. They also maintained regularcontact through social media and email. Through Binh’s intermediary role, Minhmet Phong in HCM City and Phi in Thailand.
On June 28, 2018, Minh arrivedin Vietnam and the group gathered at the house of Binh’s father (Thinh) in DongNai to discuss the demonstration taking place in the south central province of BinhThuan on June 10, 2018. They also drafted plans to prepare petrol bombs andslings for the purpose of attacking government offices, along with leaflets toincite people. Binh was assigned to travel to Thailand to buy the weapons. Thegroup also travelled to Nha Trang (the central province of Khanh Hoa) and Hue(the central province of Thua Thien-Hue) to entice more participants. On July7, 2018, Minh, Binh, Phi returned to Ho Chi Minh City and were arrested.
Thinh, father of Binh, knew ofthe group’s plans but refused to take part. However, he did not report thegroup’s acts to the police.
Phong has fled away and has beennamed on the wanted list. Besides the sum of 2,000 USD from Minh, Phong also received300 AUD from Nguyen Van Be Hai who is residing in Australia.
The police are investigatingother suspects in association with the case.-VNA