TWO Vietnamese-Americans jailed for their role in an outlawed political movement working to overthrow Hanoi's Communist Party leadership are set to be deported to the United States. US officials believe the landmark release of the two, Nguyen Tan Tri and Nguyen Quang Liem, is imminent after talks with Vietnamese officials in Hanoi and Washington. The pair will be returned to the US as soon as possible after release from a Ho Chi Minh City prison, and will be barred from Vietnam for up to five years. They will be set free on US soil. Washington refuses to accept they have committed any crime. Vietnam has yet to comment publicly. It will be the first such release and deportation in recent years, coming months after Hanoi and Washington normalised relations. Tri and Liem were sentenced to seven and four years respectively for subversion. They were arrested two years ago after flying into Ho Chi Minh City to stage a conference on democracy with the help of American lawyer Stephen Young. Mr Young was not arrested. They were finally tried within a week of the historic visit to Hanoi of US Secretary of State Warren Christopher in August, during which he called for a more open economic and political system. Other US officials including Assistant Secretary for Asia and the Pacific Winston Lord have repeatedly voiced concern at the pair's detention. But Vietnam's state press described their offences as a 'very serious violations of national sovereignty and security'. A US official said: 'We are hearing very strong suggestions that they will be released very, very soon. 'Overall this can only have very beneficial affects to the wider relationship between the US and Vietnam.' No extradition treaty exists between the two countries. The pair were sentenced with seven others accused of seeking to use the conference to create an executive body of the Tan Dai Viet Party, banned since communists took Saigon in 1975, the state press said. The pair have been one of the key sticking-points in the new relationship between the two former enemies. Two non-Vietnamese Americans are among a dozen US passport holders in jail in Vietnam. Among them is John Daniels, now serving 20 years for his part in a major shipment of cannabis to Europe. US drug enforcement agents believe Daniels, a long-time resident of Thailand, holds vast knowledge of the drug trafficking industry in Southeast Asia but no formal deportation request has yet been filed.