Cu Huy Ha Vu, 53, was sentenced to seven years in prison and three years on parole on charges of spreading propaganda against the state.

At the end of the hearing, which lasted from 8.30am to 7pm, the chairman of Hanoi's Supreme Court said there is no basis to cancel the verdict from the first trial.

One of Vu's lawyers, Tuan Dinh Trien, said outside the court: 'It's very sad, nothing has changed. If it continues like this, how can Vietnam integrate into the international community.'

In answering questions from his lawyer, Vu said that there were 'revenge reasons' behind his arrest and prosecution, which took place after he twice tried to sue Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

The first attempt was to seek the cancellation of a Chinese-run bauxite mine in the Central Highlands, and the second was to nix a decree preventing class-action petitions.

Neither of the legal challenges were mentioned in the indictment against Vu.

The indictment said he had published articles and given interviews to foreign media, 'smearing the authority of the people's government, carrying out psychological war, asking to overthrow the regime and demanding a multiparty system.'

Vu denied all of the charges and said the trial was not fair because the prosecution consisted of members of the communist party, the leadership of which he opposes.

The block around the court was cordoned off with uniformed and plainclothes police. A group of about 50 people with banners braved downpours to show their support for the lawyer.

Vu's father, Cu Huy Can, was a confidant of the Marxist independence leader Ho Chi Minh and the first agriculture minister of an independent Vietnam.

Both the United States and the European Union expressed 'concern' over the original sentencing in April.

Deutsche Presse Agentur - August 2, 2011