Thursday , February 22 2024

Đắk Lắk defendants admitted to crimes and asked for leniency

ĐẮK LẮK — Defendants in Đắk Lắk armed attacks are aware and show remorse for their actions, the provincial People’s Procuracy was told as the trial enters its third day. 

The defendants’ violation process was documented in the indictment and they were publicly questioned and trialled in court, according to the procuracy. 

In court on Wednesday, the defendants agreed to the indictment and said that their participation in the terrorist group, which aims to overthrow the people’s administration to form the “state of Đềga,” was due to the coercion and promise of financial reward by the ringleaders. 

When they realised these actions were illegal, they and their families received death threats. 

During questioning at the court, the defendants admitted to their crimes and asked for leniency. 

According to court documents, since 2015, Y Mút Mlô led the “Montagnard Support Group Inc.” (MSGI) in the US and was regularly in contact with H Wuên Êban in Đắk Lắk Province to incite violent acts that caused disturbance among the local communities and planned to expand their operations to other provinces if successful. 

Y Mút Mlô also introduced H Wuên Êban to other key members of MSGI, as well as Y Quynh Bdap and Y Krông Phôk to learn more about the group’s operations.

In August 2018, after illegally crossing borders into Thailand, Y Quynh Bdap founded the “Montagnards Stand For Justice” (MSFJ) to incite ethnic minority members in Việt Nam’s Central Highlands to commit terrorist acts. 

At the beginning of 2023, H Wuên Êban reported to the MSGI about plans for armed attacks in Đắk Lắk Province. 

Y Sôl Niê, one of MSGI key members who was living in the US, volunteered to assist H Wuên Êban in carrying out the terrorist acts. He illegally crossed borders from Thailand into Việt Nam in May 2023 with the help of Y Li Phôch Niê, Y Bluiêt Mlô and Lê Văn Nghĩa.

Y Sôl Niê, H Wuên Êban and other members of the groups decided to attack the headquarters of Ea Ktur and Ea Tiêu Communal People’s Committees, planning to entirely “burn down, destroy everything and kill everyone present, expanding the attack to other authorities’ headquarters, planting the flag of the ‘state of Đềga’ at the sites and posting footage on the internet to attract attention and build a reputation for the organisation.”

The investigation agency for the case said that between June 9-10, the terrorist group gathered at a hut to train in combat skills, make Molotov cocktails (petrol bombs) and instruct their members to use firearms. 

On the evening of June 10, they divided themselves into two groups to launch attacks at the two communal People’s Committees. 

The attacks lasted from late June 10 to early June 11, killing six officers and three citizens, with several others injured.

The Đắk Lắk People’s Procuracy also added that their confessions are consistent with results from crime scene investigation, forensic and judicial examinations, as well as other evidence collected by the Đắk Lắk Police Investigation Department. 

The procuracy highlighted that the indictment issued on January 2, which launched prosecution proceedings against the defendants for “terrorist acts; terrorism aimed at opposing the people’s administration; organising illegal exit or entry for others; and harbouring criminals,” are on sound grounds and align with the laws. 

Prosecutors also assessed the specific role, actions as well as mitigating and aggravating factors of each defendant for the trial panel’s consideration before proposing the sentences. — VNS

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