top of page

Diem Brother Sentenced To Death in South Vietnam

Apr. 22, 1964 - A nine-man court in Saigon ruled tonight that Ngo Dinh Can (left), younger brother of the late President Ngo Dinh Diem, must die on the guillotine.

The 53-year-old former overlord of Central Vietnam was convicted on charges of murder, extortion, and misuse of power.

A diabetic who suffered a heart attack last Friday, the defendant sat slumped in his chair and showed no emotion at the verdict.

His only chance now is an appeal for clemency to Maj. Gen. Duong van Minh, head of state under the current Premier, Maj. Gen. Nguyen Khanh.

Minh led the military coup d’état that overthrew the Government of President Diem last November. The President and his other brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, were assassinated in that coup.

Minh was ousted in turn last January by Khanh, but he entered the Khanh regime as titular head of state.

Can denied all accusations against him during the six-day trial, including a charge that he planned and ordered the torture murder of three persons in 1956, 1957, and 1958.

Reflecting a revolutionary drive to eliminate the last vestiges of a family dominant in South Vietnam for a decade, the tribunal ordered confiscation of all the prisoner’s cash and property.

Can sought refuge at the United States consulate in Hué after the November coup. The Americans turned him over to revolutionary authorities.

Support this project at


bottom of page