Lawyer to appeal in Mandalay riots murder conviction
Bid to overturn 10-year jail sentences
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.