Myanmar Regime Charges Ousted Magwe Region Chief Minister With Corruption

By The Irrawaddy 25 June 2021

The military regime has filed another lawsuit against Dr. Aung Moe Nyo, who served as the Magwe Region chief minister in the ousted National League for Democracy government, under the Anti-Corruption Law.

Junta-controlled newspapers on Thursday reported allegations made by the regime-appointed Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) that Dr. Aung Moe Nyo, who is also on the NLD Central Executive Committee (CEC), received 50 million kyats (about US$30,350) from a businessman in return for a filling station permit while he was in office.

The newspapers alleged that the businessman paid the money on the pretext of donating to the NLD’s 2020 election campaign fund. They accused Dr. Aung Moe Nyo of abusing his power as chief minister and of allowing 1 acre (0.4 hectares) of farmland to be used for the filling station.

They reported that the ACC charged Dr. Aung Moe Nyo under Article 55 of the Anti-Corruption Law, which carries a maximum jail term of 15 years upon conviction.

“He has told us to handle all his cases. He might already be aware of this lawsuit, as he is allowed to read newspapers in prison. The ACC has also questioned him. But he might not know all the details,” said U Myint Maung, a lawyer for Dr. Aung Moe Nyo.

On June 7, the NLD chief minister was sentenced to two years in prison with labor after being convicted of incitement for sharing a video on social media in which he states his opposition to the military coup and his support for the Civil Disobedience Movement, and for a statement issued by the CEC condemning the coup.

On the same day, the military regime filed another charge against the chief minister under Section 25 of the Natural Disaster Management Law for alleged violations of COVID-19 regulations.

According to the regime, Dr. Aung Moe Nyo attended a campaign event in a village in Magwe’s Pwintbyu Township ahead of the 2020 general election, as well as three post-election events celebrating the NLD’s win, in violation of a ban on large gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“They alleged that there were more than 50 people attending the events. There have been four court hearings on this charge. The case is also being heard by a special court inside Magwe Prison,” U Myint Maung said.

The regime has also filed corruption charges against ousted Magwe regional parliament Speaker U Tar and Magwe regional government ministers U Myint Zaw, Dr. Khin Maung Aye and U Tin Nwe Oo.

The corruption cases are likely to be heard at the Magwe Region High Court, though others including the incitement cases against the Magwe regional ministers are being heard by special courts inside Magwe Prison.

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