Burma

Army Officer Jailed for 10 Years for Killing Civilian Who Failed to Present ID Card

By Lawi Weng 21 May 2019

A court in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State, jailed a Myanmar Army officer for 10 years on Monday for killing a civilian.

Captain Aung Ko Min was present in court yesterday to hear the verdict against him for killing U Tin Soe Myint, according to Daw Khin Swe Thint, 36, the victim’s widow.

The couple lived mostly in Kalegauk Island, Ye Township, but sometimes in Thanbyuzayat Township. On May 16, U Tin Soe Myint was stopped by Army personnel on Kalegauk Island while traveling between the two townships and asked for his ID card, but he had left it at home. Capt. Aung Ko Min arrested U Tin Soe Myint and later tortured and killed him.

Daw Khin Swe Thint said her husband did not know the captain, and had never had any personal problems with him.

“[Capt. Aung Ko Min] received 10 years in prison,” she told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday, adding that she thought the sentence was fair.

Capt. Aung Ko Min of Light Infantry Battalion 587 based in Ye Township was initially detained by the Army last year. Daw Khin Swe Thint, a mother of three, fought hard to bring him to justice, eventually seeking help from the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) in her husband’s case.

The Army transferred the captain’s case to the civilian court in December last year after the HRC intervened. He made his first appearance in the court in Moulmein that month, giving the victim’s family an opportunity to seek justice. MNHRC Commissioner U Yu Lwin Aung told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that he welcomed the court decision and thanked the Army for its cooperation.

As the victim’s family could not afford to hire a lawyer, the government appointed one to work on their behalf, Daw Khin Swe Thint said.

Capt. Aung Ko Min admitted to the killing on several occasions throughout the yearlong trial process.

“He never denied the killing in court,” said Daw Khin Swe Thint, adding that the Army officer had never apologized to the victim’s family.

The family has struggled since her husband’s death, she said, adding that her children’s education has suffered.

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