The Irrawaddy

Court Case Begins Against Naypyitaw Municipal Officials

MANDALAY — The Mandalay Region Supreme Court began hearing a lawsuit against two officials from the Naypyitaw Council on Tuesday.

The municipal officials were arrested and sued under the 2013 Anti-Corruption Law for taking bribes from butchers in October.

On Monday, the court heard from plaintiff U Aung Myint Kyaw, a member of the investigation committee from Naypyitaw’s anti-corruption commission. The accused, Dr. Khaing Soe Hla, a deputy director general from the veterinary and butchery department of the Naypyitaw municipal council, appeared in court.

During the court session, U Aung Myint Kyaw told the court that the deputy director general took 5,500,000 kyats from two butchers, as a bribe for permission to reopen their shops, which had been forced to close.

“We received complaints from the butchers, which they submitted with photos of Dr. Khaing Soe Hla accepting money from them,” said U Aung Myint Kyaw, during the court session.

“We investigated and found out that he accepted the bribe, so, we cooperated with police to arrest him under Article 56 of the Anti-Corruption Law,” he added.

In a separate case, U Min Lwin Soe, a deputy director general from the market department of the Naypyitaw municipal council, was sued under the same law for taking 3,000,000 kyats as a bribe from the same butchers.

The case against U Min Lwin Soe will be heard at the same court on Wednesday.

If found guilty, the minimum sentence for the crime is two years imprisonment.