case delayed in alleged laos overthrow plot

In the latest developments in the case of a group of men plotting the violent overthrow of the communist government in Laos... or rather, the lack of developments. Turns out, because two new defendants have just been charged, there will be little or not public movement for at least six months: Sacramento case delayed in alleged Laos overthrow plot.

In a new indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Sacramento on September 17, brothers Jerry Yang and Thomas Yang of Stockton were named as conspirators along with ten men indicted over two years ago. All twelve defendants have pleaded not guilty.

The federal indictment accuses the group of conspiring to mobilize an insurgent force with the aim of transforming Laos into an American-style democracy. The prosecution contends the men were planning to arm Hmong people in Laos for a revolt against the country's communist rulers.

Attorneys for Jerry Yang and Thomas Yang told U.S. District Judge Frank C. Damrell Jr. that they need at least six months to digest 85,000 documents and hundreds of hours of audio and video recordings of secretly taped conversations and events already turned over by prosecutors to the defense.

The lead prosecutor asked the judge to set another court date three months out, but the judge set a status conference for March 15, saying he hoped that would give defense lawyers time to complete their review.

Meanwhile, Hmong American community members rallied at the courthouse building in support of the accused: Hmong rally for accused conspirators.

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