Alleged Arakan Army Members to Face Terrorism Prosecution in Mandalay

By Zarni Mann 10 June 2020

Mandalay – Mandalay District Court on Tuesday decided to proceed with the lawsuit against alleged members of the Arakan Army (AA) and three others who were arrested with explosives and arms.

Ko Aung Lin Htet, Ko Myat Khaing, Ko Chan Nyein and Ko Kyaw Kyaw Phyo were arrested on September 10 last year at a house in Chanmyathazi Township, with 28 packs of gunpowder, 1,000 detonators and bomb-making accessories, 40 satellite phones, 30 binoculars and 25 GPS devices.

The police accused Ko Aung Lin Htet of being a warrant officer in the AA and Ko Myat Khaing and Ko Cha Nyein of holding the rank of lance corporal. Ko Kyaw Kyaw Phyo is a supervisor on the Shwe Pyi Thit highway bus. Two gem traders, Ko Moe Kyaw and Ko Win Thein, were arrested later.

All six are charged under the Counterterrorism Law’s Articles 51 and 52 and face between five years to life in prison. They are being held in Obo Prison in Mandalay and were presented to the court in early October.

“The court found out from the testimonies of the witnesses and the plaintiff that they are involved with the terrorist group and have explosives so the court decided to proceed with the lawsuit,” said U Kyaw Kyaw Moe, the court spokesman.

Article 51(c) of the law states that anyone involved with a terrorist bombing attempt should face five to 10 years in prison. Article 52(a) carries three to seven years in prison for supplying bomb parts.

On the next hearing on June 23, two prosecution witnesses are due in court.

According to a prosecution lawyer, the court will decide how to proceed after hearing from the two witnesses.

“After hearing the testimonies from the witnesses for a second time, the court will decide if the lawsuit should proceed,” said lawyer U Myo Min Zaw.

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