The 12 people belong to the California-based Provisional Government of Vietnam dissident group led by US citizen Dao Minh Quan.

They were charged with attempting to overthrow Vietnam's single party communist state by attempting to cultivate sources, spread propaganda and send people from abroad to implement "terrorist" activities, the Dan Tri news site reported on Tuesday.

If convicted, they face the death penalty.

The indictment charges that the group ultimately aims to violently overthrow the Vietnamese government.

Among the two on trial are two Vietnamese-born US citizens, Angel Phan, 62, and James Han Nguyen, 51.

Vietnam listed the group, which is still loyal to the former South Vietnamese regime defeated at the end of the Vietnam War, as a terrorist group in January.

The court is scheduled to hand down a verdict on Thursday.

Deutsche Presse Agentur - August 21, 2018