News Editor Loses Bid to Have Evidence Thrown Out

By Zarni Mann 4 May 2018

Mandalay— Mandalay District Court on Friday rejected an appeal by the editor of the Myanmar Now newspaper to rule evidence submitted by the plaintiff in a lower court was unreliable.

Ko Swe Win, the chief editor of Myanmar Now, was sued by a supporter of the ultranationalist monk U Wirathu. The plaintiff had submitted a video clip of an interview Ko Swe Win had done with Radio Free Asia RFA’s Burmese language program.

Ko Swe Win and his lawyers complained that the video clip was edited prejudiciously to support the lawsuit and that it should be declared as untrustworthy evidence.

“The district court rejected our appeal and said the evidence would be accepted and the trial allowed to proceed. So, we will have to continue with the trial at Maha Aung Myat township court,” said U Khin Maung Myint, a legal advisor to Ko Swe Win.

The editor and his lawyers decided not to appeal to a higher court to save time. The next court hearing at the Maha Aung Myay Township court will be on May 11.

“The recorded segment of the interview is incomplete, which could mislead the trial and the judge to make a wrong decision,” U Khin Maung Myint said.

“The video clip was copied from U Kyaw Myo Shwe’s mobile phone and is incomplete. And it was not verified by RFA that it could be trusted,” he said.

According to the lawyers, the video segment submitted by U Kyaw Myo Shwe included only the part in which Ko Swe Win criticized U Wirathu.

Meanwhile, Ko Swe Win’s lawyers have also submitted a complaint to the Maha Aung Myay township court to take legal action against U Kyaw Myo Shwe for submitting unreliable evidence. The court will issue a decision on whether action should be taken against the Mandalay resident on May 11.

Ko Swe Win was arrested and released on bail in July last year. He was sued under Article 66 (d) of the Telecommunications Law by U Kyaw Myo Shwe in March on the grounds that he had insulted U Wirathu.