Anti-Graft Investigator Says Father of Suspect in Comedian's Murder Bribed Officials

By Zue Zue 3 December 2018

YANGON — An investigator for the Anti-Corruption Commission told a court on Friday that the father of a suspect in the murder of comedian Ko Aung Yell Htwe bribed the former attorney general of Yangon Region through his wife to get the case dropped.

The commission has accused the former attorney general, U Han Htoo, and other law enforcement officers of taking bribes from U Maung Maung Latt, a friend of the father of Than Htut Aung, one of the murder suspects. It filed related lawsuits in September against U Han Htoo, Yangon East District Court Judge U Aung Kyi, Yangon Region law officer U Thein Zaw, Yangon East District law officer U Ko Ko Lay, Yangon East District deputy law officer Daw Thit Thit Khin, and police Lieutenant Chit Ko Ko.

“U Maung Maung Latt gave a plastic bag containing 15 million kyats [$9,548], a package of bird’s nest and a Thai-made cake to Daw Khin Khin Kywe [U Han Htoo’s wife], and it was found that she accepted it,” U Moe Naing, the commission investigator, told the Yangon Region High Court.

He said U Maung Maung Latt was a personal friend of the former attorney general as well as a business partner of U Khin Maung Lay, the father of Than Htut Aung.

U Khin Maung Lay first approached Daw Thit Thit Khin and tried to meet U Han Htoo through his staff, the investigator testified. But failing to meet the then-attorney general, he left a shirt and a bottle of Blue Label whisky with the staff to have them passed on to U Han Htoo.

U Moe Naing  said U Khin Maung Lay then asked U Maung Maung Latt to help with his son’s murder case. He said U Maung Maung Latt called Daw Khin Khin Kywe and at her home passed along more cash and gifts from U Khin Maung Lay.

“U Han Htoo was attending a ceremony to commemorate Anti-Narcotics Day and was not at home. So U Maung Maung Latt only met Daw Khin Khin Kywe and asked her to help with Than Htut Aung’s case. Daw Khin Khin Kywe said she would do so if it was possible within the legal framework. Then U Maung Maung Latt left U Han Htoo’s house,” said U Moe Naing.

He said U Khin Maung Lay gave more bribes, paid for by his company, to the other law enforcement officers through Daw Thit Thit Khin.

The commission says it has sufficient evidence to prove that the six civil servants accepted more than 70 million kyats ($44,560) from U Khin Maung Lay.

If found guilty, they could face between 10 and 15 years in prison.

The next hearing is scheduled for Friday, when U Moe Naing will continue his testimony.

Ko Aung Yell Htwe, a popular comedian on Facebook, was beaten and kicked by a group of men at One Entertainment Park in Yangon’s Thuwunna Township during a New Year’s celebration on Dec. 31. He underwent surgery at Yangon People’s Hospital for his injuries but died on Jan. 2.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.