A Vietnamese appeals court on Tuesday upheld the conviction and 30-month prison sentence against a U.S.-trained lawyer and well-known dissident found guilty of tax evasion in a case that international rights groups say was politically motivated.
The court in Hanoi rejected Le Quoc Quan’s appeal after a half-day trial on Tuesday. His lawyer Ha Huy Son quoted judges as saying they found no new evidence, and that the conviction by the intermediate court was well founded.
The lawyer said Quan maintained his innocence throughout the trial.
‘‘I told the court that the case should not be criminalized, but should be resolved through administrative procedures instead.’’ Son said in a telephone interview. ‘‘But the court rejected my arguments.’’
Quan was sentenced to 30 months in jail in October.
About 100 people gathered near the courthouse demanding Quan’s release, and police sealed off the area.