Vietnam Court Set to Try 20 on ‘Terrorism’ Charges


2020.09.08
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vietnam-tanbinh2-090820.jpg Accused bomb plotter Nguyen Khanh is shown in an inset photo amid the wreckage of a police station in Ho Chi Minh City's Ta Binh district.
State Media / RFA edit

A court in southern Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City is set to try a group of 20 linked to the bombing of a city police station in a plot allegedly tied to a Canada-based exile group, state media reports said without specifying a date for the coming trial.

The June 20, 2018 bomb attack wrecked the police station of Ward 12 in the city’s Tan Binh district, leaving one officer injured, and was blamed by authorities on an exile group called Trieu Dai Viet Nguyen, or the Viet Nguyen Dynasty.

A second attack was planned for the police station at the Tam Hiep ward of Dong Nai province’s Bien Hoa City but was never carried out, state media sources said.

Nguyen Tuan Thanh and his father, Nguyen Khanh, residents of the Ho Nai 3 commune in Dong Nai’s Trang Bom district, were arrested and charged with directing others to carry out the first attack and for plotting the second, police sources said.

State media said that both men had confessed to close ties with the exiled Ngo Hung, commander-in-chief of the Viet Nguyen Dynasty, with Ngo naming Nguyen Khanh as head of a proposed Dong Nai Autonomous Area and sending him VND 120 million (U.S. $5,300) to finance the bombings.

Nguyen then assigned his nephew Duong Ba Giang to build the bombs and gave one to a group member named Vu Hoang Nam, who carried out the attack on the police station in Tan Binh. A group member named Nguyen Xuan Phuong was then asked to bomb the police station in Bien Hoa, but failed to carry out the attack, sources said.

In an interview with RFA in 2018, Ngo Hung confirmed the explosion was directed by his group and demanded that Vietnam free the arrested men. He is now being sought by Vietnamese police.

Other recent attacks

Vietnamese activists opposed to Vietnam’s one-party communist government have been implicated in several bomb attacks in recent years, with a court in Binh Duong province in April sentencing one man to more than a decade in prison for setting off a bomb at the provincial tax office last year, according to state media.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, Truong Duong, a 40-year-old truck driver,  had received payment from the U.S.-based Provisional Government of Vietnam exile group under the leadership of Dao Minh Quan, which Vietnam declared a terrorist organization in 2018.

The Provisional Government of Vietnam is also accused of masterminding a petrol bomb attack that destroyed hundreds of motorbikes at a police warehouse in Dong Nai in April 2017 and an attempted attack on Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City later that same month.

Vietnam has issued international arrest warrants for Quan and six other members of the organization, all of whom are living either in the U.S. or in Canada.

Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by Huy Le. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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