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Notary jailed for attempting to overthrow people’s state in Vietnam

Thursday, June 27, 2019, 22:05 GMT+7
Notary jailed for attempting to overthrow people’s state in Vietnam
Tran Cong Khai, 56, is escorted out of the courtroom by two security officers in Ho Chi Minh City on June 27, 2019. Photo: Hoang Diep / Tuoi Tre

A Ho Chi Minh City court on Thursday sentenced a notary public to eight years behind bars for trying “to topple the people’s administration.”

Tran Cong Khai, 56, was given the sentence together with three years of house arrest to be served after the jail term.

His indictment said that the so-called “Provisional Government of Vietnam” had been founded in the U.S. in October 1990 and headed by Dao Minh Quan, a 67-year-old Vietnamese American.

This is a reactionary organization that has incited haters to sabotage Vietnam’s stability, with a view to toppling the Vietnamese people’s administration, according to what was written in the document.

As a lawyer from 1989 to 2009 and a notary at a notary office in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, Khai understood the local law but he still joined Quan’s organization and persuaded others to follow suit.  

In 2017, he discussed with some others plans to sabotage the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in the central city of Da Nang, attended by U.S. President Donald Trump and other world leaders.

Khai also prepared a list of people particpating in a “referendum” to “elect” Quan as president of the self-proclaimed “Third Republic of Vietnam” in order to subvert the Vietnamese state.

He admitted to all the charges at the court in Ho Chi Minh City and pleaded for a commutation so he could be reunited with his family soon.

The jury announced the sentence after careful consideration.

On Monday, the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City sentenced Nguyen Michael PhuongMinh, a 55-year-old American citizen, to 12 years in prison for his “activity to topple the people’s administration."

His accomplices – Huynh Duc Thanh Binh, a 23-year-old college student, and Tran Long Phi, a 21-year-old from the southern province of Dong Nai – were handed a jail term of 10 and eight years, respectively, for the same offense.

A fourth defendant, 67-year-old Huynh Duc Thinh, who is Binh’s father, was sentenced to one year of imprisonment for “failing to report criminals.”

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Hoang Diep - Viet Toan / Tuoi Tre News

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