Myanmar Now Editor’s Defamation Case Sent Back to Court

By Zarni Mann 30 September 2019

MANDALAY – The district court of Mandalay decided on Monday the lawsuit facing the Myanmar Now editor for allegedly defaming the ultranationalist monk U Wirathu should be heard again.

“The district court decided that the decision of Maha Aung Myay Township Court is inappropriate and that it must rehear the lawsuit by calling the plaintiff’s remaining witnesses to the court,” said U Zaw Weik, lawyer for the plaintiff, Ko Kyaw Myo Shwe.

The township court dropped the lawsuit against Ko Swe Win in early June.

The lawyer said the township court would have to recall the plaintiff’s witnesses, U Wirathu, Mandalay resident Ko Kyaw Swar Tun, Mandalay-based Buddhist abbot Badanda Teikaneinya Biwuntha and the investigating officer, Police Lieutenant Kyaw Thu, who did not attend court.

“We are satisfied with the district court’s decision, which is fair and just. This is showing Ko Swe Win has admitted defamation under the Telecommunications Act’s Article 66(d),” the lawyer added.

The lawsuit is now more than two years old.

The court dropped the lawsuit because the plaintiff’s witnesses failed to attend court over 20 times.

U Wirathu is himself facing a lawsuit and is on the police wanted list for charges under Myanmar’s sedition laws for spreading hatred against State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the government.

Lt. Kyaw Thu is also facing charges under anti-corruption laws and is still at large after failing to appear in court.

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