Plaintiff in Myanmar Now Lawsuit Arrested at Trial

By Zarni Mann 7 August 2017

MANDALAY — The plaintiff in a lawsuit against an esteemed investigative journalist was arrested when he arrived at the journalist’s trial in Maha Aung Myay Township Court, Mandalay on Monday.

U Kyaw Myo Shwe was detained for participating in an anti-government protest of nationalist monks and laypersons in Mandalay on Friday. He will appear at Chanmyathazi Township Court under a charge of incitement, according to police.

In March, U Kyaw Myo Shwe filed a lawsuit against Myanmar Now chief editor U Ko Swe Win under controversial Article 66(d) of Burma’s Telecommunications Law, accusing the reporter of insulting ultranationalist monk U Wirathu in a Facebook post.

U Kyaw Myo Shwe was late by a few hours to the court hearing of Ko Swe Win on Monday. When he arrived, the defendant’s lawyer asked the court to call off the trial, as the plaintiff, who was included on an arrest warrant on Friday, was a fugitive.

“We could not accept that the fugitive showed up to the court freely. We are not trying to stop his right to be the plaintiff, but we have to question the judicial system and the police for not taking action against the fugitive,” said U Khin Maung Myint, the legal adviser of Ko Swe Win.

Ko Kyaw Myo Shwe had remained at home since the announce of his arrest warrant, according to his lawyer, causing the defense of Ko Swe Win to question why the police had failed to take action sooner.

The next court session in the trial of Ko Swe Win was set for August 21. Ko Kyaw Myo Shwe will testify from his detention in Mandalay’s Obo Prison.