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Additional charge against Burmese-American

New Delhi (Mizzima) - A new charge was added to the existing ones against Burmese born American, Kyaw Zaw Lwin (alias) Nyi Nyi Aung by a district court in Rangoon on Friday, his attorney said.

Kyaw Zaw Lwin, who was charged with fraudulence and forgery under article 420 and 468 of the Criminal Code, has been additionally charged under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act Section 24, his lawyer Kyi Win told Mizzima.

“We don’t yet know the details of the new charge against Nyi Nyi Aung. We don’t know for what reason this charge has been added,” Kyi Win said.

The Burmese born American was arrested on September 3, on arrival at the Rangoon international airport and has been detained since then. He was later charged for fraudulence and forgery – cheating the immigration and possessing a fake Burmese national identity card.

While he was charged and was being tried by the Minglardon Township court, whose jurisdiction covers the Rangoon International airport, last week authorities transferred his case to the Southern District Court without any official reason given.

Kyi Win last week told Mizzima that while transferring the case is not out of procedure, he expressed his fear that the District court, which is a step higher than the Township court, would add extra charges.

“We will be collecting the files of Nyi Nyi Aung from the district court next week. Only then we will know about the additional charge,” Kyi Win said, adding that the court has scheduled the next hearing of the prosecution witness for November 13, Friday.

“Today we heard testimonies of the two witnesses, who had testified in the Township court. Because the case is now being handled by a new judge, the trial is required to start all over again,” Kyi Win added.

According to his attorney, if found guilty, Nyi Nyi Aung could be sentenced to 14 years in prison, seven each on charges of fraudulence and forgery. But Kyi Win said he still does not have any idea what the new charge is all about.

Nyi Nyi Aung was a student activist in the 1988 nation-wide uprising. But he fled from Burma for neighbouring Thailand in the wake of the ruling junta’s crackdown on protesters. He later resettled in the United States, where he was naturalized as a citizen.

His mother and sister are currently serving prison terms for their political activism.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 07 November 2009 13:19 )  

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