Junta Court Rejects Appeal for Myanmar’s Ousted Ruling Party Vice-Chair

By The Irrawaddy 5 January 2022

Myanmar junta’s court in Mandalay rejected an appeal from the region’s chief minister, Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, his legal team told The Irrawaddy.

The 70-year-old vice-chairman of the ousted National League for Democracy was sentenced to four years in prison on December 8, including two years for alleged sedition under Article 505(b) of the Penal Code and two years for two charges under the Natural Disaster Management Law for alleged breaches of COVID-19 regulations.

His legal team said: “We summited an appeal for Dr. Zaw Myint Maung and his cabinet members on January 3. The court rejected it that day without giving any reasons. We will proceed to the higher court.”

He has been held in Mandalay’s Obo Prison since the February coup.

Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, who suffers from leukemia, also faces five corruption charges and two charges for electoral fraud.

“He was ill on December 29 during the court hearing and was given oxygen and has since recovered. His cabinet members are also in good health,” a family member said.

The veteran politician was also jailed by former dictator Than Shwe for 19 years.

When the NLD came to power in 2016, he became Mandalay Region’s chief minister while serving as one of the party’s vice-chairs along with then-President U Win Myint. State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi chairs the party.

Appeals were also rejected for Mandalay mayor Dr. Ye Lwin, who was sentenced to two years for sedition under Article 505(b) of the Penal Code and the regional minister for agriculture and irrigation Dr. Soe Than, electrical minister U Zar Ni Aung and U Tin Ko Ko, the Mandalay secretary of the NLD, who were given two years in prison for violating the Natural Disaster Law.

The junta has arrested 649 members of the NLD, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint, and 489 are still in detention, the NLD said on January 1.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Win Myint were sentenced to four years on charges of sedition and breaches of COVID-19 regulations, which were cut to two years on the day of the sentencing.

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