VietNamNet Bridge – The trial of two Vietnamese former journalists and two former police officers started today Oct. 14 and scheduled to last two days.
On the first day of the trial, the People’s Procuracy of Hanoi proposed a 12 to 24 months suspended sentence for the former Police General Pham Xuan Quac. It also proposed 18 to 24 months suspended sentences for former journalist Nguyen Van Hai, while former Police Officer Dinh Van Huynh and former journalist Nguyen Viet Chien are proposed each a 24 to 30 months jail term.
Nguyen Van Hai and Nguyen Viet Chien, who worked for Tuoi Tre and Thanh Nien newspapers, respectively, have been charged with “abuse of freedom and democracy to violate legal rights and benefits of organizations and individuals”. They have been detained since May this year.
Pham Xuan Quac, who was a Major-General of C14 investigation bureau, and Dinh Van Huynh, a Senior Lieutenant and Chief of a department of C14, are tried on charges of “deliberately revealing state secrets”.
In the court, after the representative of the Procuracy presented the allegations, the two former Police Officers and Nguyen Viet Chien all pledged not guilty. Nguyen Van Hai admitted his wrong-doings but not intentionally.
The case involved the investigation of corruption in early 2006, when General Pham Xuan Quac and Lieutenant Dinh Van Huynh was responsible for investigating Project Management Unit 18 (PMU18).
Nine lawyers are participating as counsels for the defendants, while 10 witnesses are called to testify include journalists and several heads of newspapers.
There are 30 reporters from 26 local newspapers and 9 reporters from 6 foreign news agencies registered to attend and cover the trial. 7 representatives of foreign organizations also attend the trial.
The court trial is scheduled to last two days (October 14 and 15).