No Dismissal in General Vang Pao's Case

May 12, 2009 2:04:18 PM PDT
General Pao and 10 other men are accused of plotting to overthrow the government of Laos. Defense attorneys argued to get those criminal charges dismissed. Defense attorneys failed at getting this case thrown out. The judge said he simply did not have enough facts to make a ruling. While many Hmong people showed disappointment ... Their enthusiasm for General Vang Pao overshadowed Monday's court room defeat.

"Free Vang Pao. Free Vang Pao."

Hmong people chanted hours before their leader arrived. Thousands came from all over the country to wait for General Vang Pao.

Kelli Vang said, "He's a hero because he brought all these Hmong people to America. He supported us and we wouldn't here if it wasn't for him."

By midday police estimated more than five thousand people gathered outside of the courthouse.

Supporters wear white to show their solidarity. Pahoua Vang from Fresno explained ... Their white shirts have a deep meaning. She said, "The white is just to represent we want justice and peace."

Inside the court house ... The defense attorneys called the prosecution's case a shocking violation of the defendants' right. But the U.S. Attorney argued ... They have enough evidence to show the general and 10 men conspired to overthrow Loa's government. The judge declined to dismiss the case.

Defense Attorney Mark Reichel said, "What was undisputed today is that an extremely, extremely vulnerable segment of this word, the Hmong people were preyed upon by law enforcement. General Waived to Crowd."

The general waved to the crowd after the hearing. His appearance moved some in the crowd to tears.

Mary Vang said, "He's my Hmong National leader that brought all of us to the United States. I want him to be free and everyone have peace and freedom."

A spokesperson said the general is suffering from a sore throat and was unable to address the crowd.

The general and his codefendants are scheduled to return to court October fifth. A defense attorney said they will try again to get this case dismissed.

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