The week-long trial of 22 people charged with plotting to overthrow the people’s administration concluded on February 4 at the People’s Court of central Phu Yen province.

The defendants were members of an organisation called “Hoi Dong cong luat cong an Bia Son” (The Council for the Laws and Public Affairs of Bia Son).

The organisation’s leader Phan Van Thu (also known as Tran Cong) was sentenced to life in prison. The other 21 received jail terms of between 10 and 17 years.

The defendants were accused of running the reactionary political organisation between 2004 and February 2012, operating as a branch of an eco-tourism company in Hoa Xuan Nam commune, Dong Hoa district, Phu Yen province.

It attracted the involvement of 293 people and received financial contributions from a number of overseas Vietnamese.

The organisation compiled documents slandering policies and guidelines, smearing the current system and deluding a segment of people to eradicate revolutionary thoughts from their lives and erode people’s trust in the Party and State’s leadership.

It had its own operating regulations and political programmes, and planned to commence activities early this year to overthrow the Vietnamese State and set up the Dai Nam Kim Chau state led by Thu and his accomplices.

The jury ruled the defendants’ offence to be extremely serious, but they pleaded guilty during the investigation and trial, so their criminal responsibility has been reduced.-VNA