Actor Min Oak Soe Sentenced to Life for Employee’s Murder

By Htun Htun 30 July 2015

RANGOON — The Burmese actor and director Min Oak Soe was sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday for the brutal December murder of his former employee, Nu Nu Yin.

Min Oak Soe beat the victim to death after the two got into an argument at his home in Rangoon’s Bahan Township, with the 44-year-old actor later turning himself in to police and confessing to the crime on the morning of Dec. 25.

Nu Nu Yin, also known as Tay Nu Yin, had worked for years as an editor of Tarapa magazine, her family has said.

According to a forensics report, the victim succumbed to blunt trauma wounds, including broken ribs and injuries to the liver and lungs, a family member of the victim said.

Hla Swe, a lawmaker in the Upper House of Parliament whose constituency includes the victim’s hometown in Magwe Division, weighed in on the verdict on Wednesday.

“I believe the judge has made the right decision,” he posted on his Facebook page, adding that he had attended the sentencing.

Members of the group Ko Lu Chaw, a guild of actors who usually play villains in Burmese cinema, were also present for Wednesday’s court hearing, with one member saying afterward that he felt the punishment was too harsh.

“He did wrong, but the life sentence is too much. Some murder cases that are even more serious than his do not get such a harsh penalty,” he said.

Min Oak Soe rose to fame starring in Burmese horror movies, though he has also acted in other genres. In addition to his acting career, he owns the media company Tarawun Video Production, and runs an art gallery at his home on Pho Sein Street in Rangoon.

It is not his first run-in with the law: In 2013, Min Oak Soe did three months in prison after setting fire to a pile of garbage in the middle of a Rangoon street, blocking traffic. He was sentenced for punching a police car and swearing at firefighters in the incident. In November 2014, he was forcibly restrained at a birthday celebration for the well-known singer Soe Paing, after he took to the stage and began behaving erratically.