The Irrawaddy

Court Holds Hearing in Corruption Case Against FDA Chief

MANDALAY — Mandalay Divisional Court on Friday held its first hearing in the corruption case against the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA director-general Dr. Than Htut was arrested and sued under Section 56 of the Anti-Corruption Law on April 19. (https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/anti-corruption-commission-files-case-fda-chief.html)

At Friday’s court session, plaintiff U Than Zaw Win, an investigator from the Anti-Corruption Commission, submitted evidence against Dr. Than Htut including documents from a construction company showing it built two houses and a swimming pool for the official and furnished the homes with TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners, paintings and other items in exchange for being awarded a tender to build laboratories for the agency.

The investigator told the court the director asked the company to build him two homes and a swimming pool and provide household items. The alleged bribe is worth more than 15 million kyats in total.

The next court hearing is scheduled for May 11. The plaintiff is expected to submit further documents as evidence. The court will then hear from witnesses for the plaintiff. The court is scheduled to hear from 36 witnesses in all.

If he is convicted, the director-general faces a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine.