Lawyer to ap­peal in Man­dalay ri­ots mur­der con­vic­tion

Bid to over­turn 10-year jail sen­tences

Mizzima Business Weekly - - AFFAIRS // NEWS - [Myo Thant]

A lawyer says he will ap­peal against the 10-year jail sen­tences with hard labour handed down by Man­dalay Dis­trict Court against four men con­victed of mur­der dur­ing the com­mu­nal ri­ots there in early July.

U Zaw Naing told Mizzima on Oc­to­ber 16 that the ap­peal would seek to have the sen­tences quashed.

U Zaw Naing, who said he was act­ing pro bono, said an ap­peal should not be based on dis­sat­is­fac­tion over a ver­dict. The jus­tice sys­tem should hand down cor­rect and ac­cu­rate sen­tences, he said, adding that he be­lieved no firm ev­i­dence prov­ing guilt had been sub­mit­ted to the court.

The court on Oc­to­ber 14 passed sen­tence on Nyan Htay, Than Gyaung, Be Taw alias Kyaw Min Tun, and Kyaw Zin Htet alias Fatty, after con­vict­ing them of pre­med­i­tated mur­der and abet­ment to mur­der.

They were ar­rested on July 17 in con­nec­tion of the death of U Soe Min Htwe, who was killed while go­ing to a mosque for morn­ing prayers on July 3. The case against the four sus­pects was lodged on Au­gust 8.

Speak­ing after the four were sentenced, de­fence lawyer U Khin Maung Than, said doc­u­ments sub­mit­ted to the court by po­lice of­fered no ev­i­dence to im­pli­cate the men.

Po­lice in Man­dalay say 15 sus­pects are be­ing ques­tioned in con­nec­tion with the death of another man dur­ing the vi­o­lence, Ko Tun Tun.

Man­dalay Dis­trict Po­lice Com­man­der Po­lice Lieu­tenant-Colonel Sein Tun said that case was yet to be taken to court be- cause more sus­pects were be­ing sought.

The two men died dur­ing three days of ri­ot­ing and vi­o­lence in Man­dalay in early July sparked by the post­ing on so­cial me­dia of a claim that a young Bud­dhist woman had been raped by Mus­lims.

It was sub­se­quently re­vealed that the rape claim was a fab­ri­ca­tion con­cocted for the pur­pose of black­mail.

The con­victed men leav­ing from Man­dalay Dis­trict Court on Oc­to­ber 14. Photo: Aung Ko Oo

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