Vive Le Canada

Vietnam Sentences Americans for Terrorism
Date: Thursday, November 16 2006
Topic:


Vietnam Sentences Americans for Terrorism
By Margie Mason
Associated Press Writer
November 10, 2006

CBNNews.com -- HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - Vietnam defused a political storm Friday by issuing light sentences to three Vietnamese-Americans convicted of terrorism, preventing the closely watched case from clouding President Bush's visit next week.

The defendants had been held since September 2005 without charges after being accused of plotting to take over radio airwaves in their native country to call for an uprising to overthrow the communist government.

They, along with four Vietnamese nationals accused of the same crime, were sentenced by a judge to 15 months in prison, with credit for time served. All will be released in one month, and the Americans will have 10 days to leave the country.

The case had attracted Washington's attention just before Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice planned to make their first visit to Hanoi, for the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. It's Vietnam's biggest-ever event.

The seven faced punishments ranging from 12 years in prison to death by firing squad. Prosecutors instead sought lesser terms, saying the defendants had repented and had no previous criminal records.

"I am certainly pleased that they will be sent home," said U.S. Ambassador Michael Marine. "These individuals have been held for quite some time. That is allowed under Vietnamese law, but 14 months without being brought to trial is a long time for anyone. So, we're glad to see that portion over with."

Marine spoke just a few blocks away from the French colonial-style courthouse in southern Ho Chi Minh City where the sentences were read. He was attending a ceremony in which Intel Corp. announced plans to increase its investment in a planned chip assembly and testing plant to $1 billion from an initial $300 million, positive news that followed Vietnam's invitation to join the World Trade Organization on Tuesday.

http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/55514.aspx

http://www.cbn.com/CBNn...



This article comes from Vive Le Canada
http://www.vivelecanada.ca

The URL for this story is:
http://www.vivelecanada.ca/article/184618140-vietnam-sentences-americans-for-terrorism