Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vietnamese lawyer arrested - AP News

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June 14, 2009
Vietnamese lawyer arrested

HANOI (Vietnam) - STATE media reports Vietnamese police have arrested a lawyer known for defending pro-democracy activists and accused him of working with 'hostile forces' against the communist state.
The People's Police newspaper says on its Web site that Le Cong Dinh was taken into custody on Saturday for violating Article 88 of the Criminal Code, which prohibits distributing information harmful to the state.

The newspaper report gives no details on the 'hostile forces.' In 2007, Dinh defended human rights lawyers Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan when they appealed their prison sentences for spreading anti-government propaganda. -- AP

Vietnam holds high-profile lawyer - BBC News

Vietnamese authorities have arrested a high-profile lawyer for allegedly conspiring against the government.

Le Cong Dinh, 41, one of Vietnam's most respected lawyers, has defended a number of pro-democracy activists.

He was alleged to have been found with a copy of a new constitution he wrote aiming to replace the current one.

The police said they will charge Mr Dinh with Article 88 of the Vietnam's Criminal Code for distributing anti-government materials.

Charismatic writer

Mr Dinh was arrested by security police for "colluding with domestic and foreign reactionaries to sabotage the Vietnamese state" by publishing documents distorting the country's socio-economic policies, a senior security official said.

Major-General Hoang Cong Tu said Mr Dinh and his accomplices had also libelled Vietnam's top leaders, including Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, in published documents, according to state media.

Married to a former Miss Vietnam, Mr Dinh is also known as a charismatic and active writer and columnist, whose commentaries on Vietnam's politics and current affairs appeared in many publications and online forums overseas, the BBC's Nga Pham said.

In his articles, Mr Dinh supported pluralism and called for wider reform of the Vietnamese political system.

Mr Dinh rose to prominence when he represented Vietnam's interests in the so-called "catfish battle" where US farmers accused the Vietnamese of dumping cheap seafood on the US market.

In recent years, Mr Dinh defended some of Vietnam's leading human rights and democracy activists, such as fellow lawyers Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan, who have also been jailed for anti-government activity, our correspondent said.


VietnamNet News:
11:42' 14/06/2009 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge - The Investigation Security Agency under the Ministry of Public Security on June 13 arrested lawyer Le Cong Dinh on a charge of ‘colluding with domestic and foreign reactionaries to sabotage the Vietnamese State.’

Lawyer Le Cong Dinh and his wife, Miss Vietnam 1998 Ngoc Khanh.

According to a press communiqué released by the General Department of Security, Dinh was arrested at 11.10am according to Article 88 of the Criminal Code of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Dinh, born on October 1, 1968, lives at No 163/8, Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Road, Ward No17, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

He works for Le Cong Dinh Law One-member Limited Liability Company at No37 Ton Duc Thang Street, District 1, HCM City. He was the former vice chairman of the HCM City Bar Association and the husband of Miss Vietnam 1998 Ngoc Khanh.


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