Vietnam court jails 11 for beating cops, inciting anti-China riot

By Nguyen Dung, Thanh Nien News

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The defendants at trial in Ha Tinh on Wednesday. Photo: Nguyen Dung The defendants at trial in Ha Tinh on Wednesday. Photo: Nguyen Dung


A court in the north-central province of Ha Tinh on Wednesday sentenced 11 defendants to jail time for causing a public nuisance in the Vung Ang Economic Zone that ultimately led to a fatal anti-China riot in May.
The defendants received jail terms of between 15 and 39 months. Three others got off with between 15 and 18 months probation.
Among the 11 defendants, Nguyen Van Thang, Nguyen Huu Chien and Trinh Xuan Thuy were also convicted of “opposing government officials performing their official duties.”
According to the indictment, a large crowd gathered at the economic zone on May 14 to demand that China withdraw a giant oil rig from Vietnam's exclusive economic zone.
The defendants were found guilty of instigating those present at the demonstration to cause a public nuisance at the economic zone, according to the court.
Thang and Thuy assaulted two border guards at Deo Ngang Station with a helmet and a wrench while Chien attacked a dog employed by the force.
The riot resulted in three deaths, dozens of injuries and significant looting and vandalism.
During their trial, all of the defendants pleaded guilty.
Following the riot, police identified around 80 suspects involved in the crime, who have since been tried separately for their roles in the riot.
On September 30, a court sentenced 17 people to jail terms ranging between 6 and 30 months for looting during the May riot.
Prior to that, three workers from CISDI Industrial Furnace Co., Ltd. were sentenced to between 12 and 18 months for looting the future site of the Taiwanese steel plant Formosa during the riot.

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