News » Headlines
Anti-regime Hanoi lawyer faces 12 years in jail
  • | Tuoi tre |

A former lawyer accused of spreading anti-government documents is to stand a first-instance trial in Hanoi on March 24 and is facing a maximum imprisonment term of 12 years.

Cu Huy Ha Vu

According to VnExpress, persecuting authorities have allowed four lawyers to defend 53-year-old Cu Huy Ha Vu, who is himself a lawyer.

Vu’s wife Nguyen Thi Duong Ha who is also a lawyer will not defend her husband as her request has been turned down.

Vu is to be tried on Article 88, Section 1 of the Criminal Code and facing a jail term ranging from 3 to 12 years, according to VnExpress.

Earlier Vu was charged with “distributing propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam” under the Criminal Code.

According to indictment from prosecuting agencies, from 2009 to October 2010, Vu wrote many anti-government articles and posted them on the Internet. He also gave incorrect information at interviews.

Those articles and interviews maligned Party and State guidelines and policies, defamed the administration and State institutions, and blackened the Vietnamese people’s resistance wars.

Police said they have collected many evidence and documents showing that Vu is guilty of acts of propagandizing and slandering the people’s government.

He has also been found guilty of calling for the overthrow of the current regime and calling for a multi-party system, police said.

According to Lieutenant General Hoang Kong Tu, head of the central investigation unit, Vu is also found to have supplied incorrect, slandering information on the Vietnamese political affairs, infringing on the dignity of the state and government.

According to a document from the investigation unit, of the 240 pages seized from Vu, police found one article written by him titled “"Chiến tranh Việt Nam và ngày 30/4 dưới mắt tiến sĩ Cù Huy Hà Vũ" (the Vietnam War and the April 30 day under the eyes of Dr. Cu Huy Ha Vu) and the article "Phải đa đảng mới chống được lạm quyền" (we must have a multi-party system to fight power abuse”).

The investigation unit said that it has proof to prove that Vu “transferred those documents which were made by himself to a number of individuals to use against the state”.

Vu was arrested after midnight on November 5 last year at a Ho Chi Minh City hotel, with the police claiming to have found him with a woman lawyer who is not his wife.

They searched his house in Hanoi the same day, seizing documents “containing distorted information against the people’s administration and calling for the overthrow of the regime, pluralism, multi-party system, and foreign intervention which goes contrary to the nation’s interest.”

Vu is known for having sent a petition to the Hanoi People’s Court asking to strike down Dung’s approval for a bauxite mining project in the Central Highlands, but it was rejected.

Vu has a doctorate in law from France and was practicing in Vietnam until the Vietnam Lawyers Federation debarred him after he filed the petition.

Three days after the arrest, his wife Nguyen Thi Duong Ha, a practicing lawyer, sent a petition to President Nguyen Minh Triet, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, the police, and prosecutors, about "wrongdoings" related to the arrest.

She accused security authorities of trampling on individual rights, citing the manner in which the police had stormed into Vu’s hotel room and held him and broke into and searched their house.

The couple run a law firm in Hanoi and have often take up political cases.

Vu is the son of famous poet Huy Can, a former minister of culture, and adopted child of well-known poet Xuan Dieu.

He used to work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Leave your comment on this story