Luu Van Vinh at the court. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City handed down jail sentences of between 8-15 years to five men for “attempting to overthrow the people’s administration” under Article 79 of the Penal Code at a first-instance trial held on October 5.

Luu Van Vinh, Nguyen Quoc Hoan, Nguyen Van Duc Do, Tu Cong Nghia, and Phan Trung are members of “Lien minh dan toc Viet Nam” (Vietnam National Self-Determination Coalition).

Vinh, 51, will serve 15 years behind bars, while 41-year-old Hoan received a prison sentence of 13 years; 43-year-old Do received 11 years; 25-year-old Nghia was given ten years; and 42-year-old Trung got eight years. They will also be kept under surveillance after completing their jail sentences.

According to the indictment, they were believed to be conducting activities violating national security. Vinh has a permanent residence in the northern province of Hai Duong and Hoan holds a permanent residence in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, however, Vinh, Hoan, and Do were all found to be residing in HCM City. Of the others, Trung resided in Lam Dong province and Nghia resided in the central province of Ninh Thuan.

They directly established a reactionary organisation named the Vietnam National Self-Determination Coalition, and defamed and distorted policies and guidelines of the Party and the State, aiming to abolish the leadership role of the Communist Party of Vietnam and overthrow the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

As the mastermind of the group, Vinh set forth the objectives and operational orientations of the Vietnam National Self-Determination Coalition, luring people into the organisation.

Do, who was Vice President, worked to develop the organisation. Meanwhile, Hoan and Trung were advisors to Vinh in the organisation’s establishment. Nghia was in charge of “military affairs” as well as recruiting people into the group.

They carried out various activities with the aim of inciting the public, coordinating with hostile forces, and participating in illegal demonstrations.

On October 30, 2016, they organised a preparatory meeting and agreed to announce the debut of the organisation at a church in Tan Binh district, Ho Chi Minh City on November 6, 2016.

However, the Investigation Security Agency of HCM City’s Police Department arrested the men on that day.–VNA