Lawyer Imprisoned for Allegedly Submitting Fake Documents
By Zarni Mann 9 June 2017
MANDALAY – A court in Madaya Township, Mandalay Division, sentenced a lawyer to 18 months imprisonment with hard labor on Friday for submitting a fake medical document.
Lawyer U Zaw Win was accused of submitting a fake medical document in 2011 to bail out a client. He was arrested on May 30.
“The court found U Zaw Win guilty without giving him chance to testify,” said lawyer U Han Shin Win, who is a friend of U Zaw Win.
According to his family and friends, the court did not allow public access to the trial and sent the detained lawyer to Mandalay’s Obo Prison immediately following the verdict.
In 2011, a contractor hired lawyer U Zaw Win to take a client to court for money owed. The client later sued both the lawyer and contractor, which is when the contractor was detained.
The contractor presented a medical document as evidence of sickness to the court.
After the contractor was released from detention on bail, a complaint was submitted by the contractor’s former client alleging that the medical document was fake.
On May 30, the court did not allow U Zaw Win to testify. He then threw his slipper at the judge, at which point the judge stopped the trial and the lawyer was arrested and sent to prison.
Lawyer and friend of the accused, U Kyaw Kyaw Oo, said the document was submitted by the contractor and not by U Zaw Win. He said U Zaw Win planned to explain this at the trial but was refused.
“Even if he [Lawyer U Zaw Win] did fake the documents, the court must give him chance to defend himself according to court procedure,” he added.
Lawyer U Zaw Win, supporter and lawyer to dozens of farmers who had their land confiscated, is a former political prisoner who spent several months in prison under the Peaceful Assembly Act for staging a protest against the injustice of the court in Pyin Oo Lwin in 2012.
He will have to stand trial again for disrespecting the court for throwing his slipper at the judge. The trial date has not been set.