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‘Freedom fighter’ Ly Tong’s trial gets underway in San Jose*

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The felony assault trial of self-proclaimed Vietnamese anti-communist freedom fighter Ly Tong, 63, gets underway in San Jose today, and if his antics this week are an indication, it’s likely to be anything but routine. He showed up for pre-trial motions the other day in a green military jumpsuit and black bomber jacket, with an entourage of supporters in tow, the Mercury News’ Tracey Kaplan says. Tong is accused of, well, what you see him doing in the video: attacking a Vietnamese singing star with pepper-spray during a Santa Clara concert in 2010.

Noted: The former South Vietnamese fighter pilot’s most famous exploit? Hijacking a passenger jet and dropping 50,000 leaflets over Ho Chi Minh City in 1992.

[Update] During the opening day of trial, the prosecutor said that Tong's actions were aimed at "getting publicity--at all costs." 
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