Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – The Hanoi City People’s Court handed down imprisonment sentences ranging from 6 to 8 years to three defendants on the charge of spreading anti-State propaganda during a trial on January 31.

Vu Quang Thuan, 52, from the northern province of Thai Binh was sentenced to 8 years in prison, while Nguyen Van Dien, 35, from the northern province of Yen Bai was given six years and six months, and Tran Hoang Phuc, 24, from Ho Chi Minh City got six years in jail under Article 88, clause 1, counts a and c of the Criminal Code 1999.

After serving their jail terms, Thuan will be put under surveillance for 5 years while Dien and Phuc will be monitored for 4 years.

According to the indictment, the Hanoi police on March 1was requested by the municipal Department of Information and Communications to investigate the publishing of  video clips that distorted, slandered and damaged the prestige of organisations and honour and dignity of individuals on Facebook pages under the names of “Vu Quang Thuan” and “Nguyen Van Dien”.

On March 2, the Hanoi police made an urgent search of a rented home of Thuan and Dien in O Cho Dua ward, Dong Da district and seized many objects and documents related to the filming and distribution of anti-State clips.

Further investigation revealed that Phuc had assisted Thuan and Dien in making and posting the clips on the internet.

The procuracy agency said from October 2016 to early March 2017, Thuan and Dien produced and uploaded 17 clips on the internet, stored documents that incited anti-State sentiments, defamed the administration, spreading distorted and fabricated information on the Party leadership.

Based on the content of the video clips, seized exhibits and documents, statements of the defendants and witnesses, assessments and public debate at court, the judging council concluded that the acts by the three defendants constituted the crime of anti-State propaganda in line with under Article 88, clause 1, counts a and c of the Criminal Code 1999.

Thuan was defined as the main instigator while Dien and Phuc were his accomplices.

During the trial, the defendants admitted to their acts but refused to acknowledge their crime. -VNA