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Former Saigon soldier jailed in Vietnam

August 18, 1997

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) _ A former South Vietnamese soldier who continued to fight the communists long after the fall of Saigon has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, the government said today.

A court in the southern resort town of Vung Tau convicted Nguyen Long Si of ``committing activities aimed at overthrowing the People’s government,″ the official Vietnam News Agency reported.

His trial and sentencing came almost one year after his arrest in September.

Si was a member of a small rebel army in southern Vietnam, one of several insurgent groups that organized against the victorious communists.

Four years after North Vietnam’s communist forces captured the south in 1975, Si left his job at a communal farm and joined the jungle-based resistance of a few dozens former South Vietnamese soldiers, the report said.

Si’s so-called Unified Military Forces of the Indochina Federation staged small raids on government offices in villages near Saigon.

On one occasion, he and several armed comrades killed a village official in Chau Pha during a raid to steal weapons, the government said in a statement issued through the news agency.

During another assault, Si led an attack on Chu Hai commune, killing one police officer and hoisting the flag of the South Vietnamese government atop a local church, the report said.

Si fled to Cambodia in 1987 with his family and made his way to Thailand. In 1996, after several years in a refugee camp, they

were forced to return to Vietnam.

Si reportedly admitted his crimes and was arrested.

Three of Si’s comrades captured during the 1980s were executed. Three others are serving long prison sentences.

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