Defendant Tran Cong Khai at the trial on June 27 (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City on June 27 handed an eight-year prison sentence to a man for engaging in activities aimed to overthrow the people’s administration.

Tran Cong Khai, born in 1963 and residing in District 3 of the city, was found guilty of the offence, which is regulated in Article 109 of the 2015 Penal Code.

At the first-instance trial, the court ruled that Khai’s activities were particularly serious and dangerous for the society, directly harming the existence of the people’s administration and the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The defendant used to be a lawyer and a notary, which meant he was knowledgeable about law, politics and society. However, although Khai knew clearly the purposes of the so-called “Chinh phu quoc gia Viet Nam lam thoi” (Provisional National Government of Vietnam), he still participated in this terrorist organisation, according to the court.

At the trial, Khai pleaded guilty.

The “Chinh phu quoc gia Viet Nam lam thoi” was listed as a terrorist organisation by the Ministry of Public Security basing on Vietnamese and international law.

In this case, via social networks, a US national named Kelly Trieu (also known as Trieu Thanh Hoa, born in 1968, a key member of “Chinh phu quoc gia Viet Nam lam thoi”) induced and instructed Khai to take part in this organisation. Khai was assigned to call on many people to take part in a “referendum” to elect Dao Minh Quan as President to return to take the leadership in Vietnam.

Khai made friends with Nguyen Doan Quang Vien, Le Ngoc Hien and Tran Thi Ngan Giang. They discussed and made a list of participants in the “referendum” to send to this organisation. They also planned to sabotage the APEC meetings, but they were arrested before having time to realise this plan.
 
The court decided to sentence Khai to eight years in prison but did not prosecute Vien, Hien and Giang, citing the three’s limited legal awareness, being induced by other people, unserious violations, and repentance. They were handed over to local authorities for management and education.-VNA