Published on December 28, 2007
Vo Van Duc was handed the jail sentence two months ago.
The motive for the attempted attack in 2001 by Vo Van Duc, together with Nguyen Thanh Hien Si, was a political one intended to mark June 19 as the former South Vietnam Nationalist Army Day, the lawyer said.
The dissident pleaded with the Appeal Court to treat him on par with Nguyen Thanh Hien Si, who was given an eight-year jail term.
"Since Nguyen Thanh Hien Si was jailed for eight years, why did Duc get 12 years?" lawyer Warasit Piriyawiboon posed. As the same court rulings were applied to each case, the verdicts should also reflect this, he added.
The primary court convicted him to 12 years in jail for possessing weapons and explosive material, in accordance with the 1947 weaponry act, and added a further 12 years for attempting to use the explosive device, in accordance with the Penal Code.
But the court reduced the prison term to 12 years because he had confessed.
Duc, an American citizen, escaped to the US after the attack, where he was arrested in October 2001 and then extradited to face trail in Thailand last December.
Warasit said the appeal was made on the grounds that he had already served six years in the US. The primary court ruled that imprisonment in the US could not be counted as part of the sentence.
Born in My Tho, South Vietnam, Duc, 48, fled the country in 1980 by boat to escape political persecution.
He settled in the US later and attended California State University and earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering.
Supalak G Khundee