A man has been sentenced to three years in jail for sending death threats to the chairman of a province, and a police department director, in northern Vietnam.
The People’s Court of Bac Ninh Province imposed a three-year jail term on Nguyen Trong Phuong, 38, on Tuesday, after he was found guilty of texting death threats to Nguyen Tu Quynh, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, in early 2017.
According to the indictment, Phuong, who resides in Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, established a construction company in 2014.
In 2017, Phuong submitted a document to the Bac Ninh administration, requesting his firm be allowed to dredge a section of the Duong River and make use of the sand in various construction projects.
The proposal was denied as it was deemed that the activity could bring about serious subsidence along the river’s banks.
Phuong then discussed the matter with Tran Anh Thuan, deputy director of a Bac Ninh-based import-export and transport firm, about his intention to send death threats to Chairman Quynh, as well as to Pham Hong Son, director of the Bac Ninh Department of Police.
The man then bought a new SIM card and used it to send multiple text messages to the two officials on the night of January 23, 2017.
He expected that this would cause the provincial chairman to allow all dredging projects along the Duong River, and thus his previous request would be approved.
Phuong and Thuan were both arrested in March 31.
The first trial began on September 26, 2017, during which Phuong was charged with terrorism, while Thuan was prosecuted for failing to denounce the crime.
In late October, the Bac Ninh Department of Police decided to change Phuong’s offense from terrorism to sending death threats, and spare Thuan from criminal charges.
In a similar case, the People’s Court in the central city of Da Nang began the trial of Dao Tuan Cuong on Tuesday, the former branch director of Petrolimex Aviation Fuel JSC, who had sent death threats to Huynh Duc Tho, chairman of the municipal administration.
Cuong subsequently submitted a request to postpone the trial, as he was being treated for an illness at a local hospital.