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Courts rush to conclude trials

Mizzima News - The special courts inside Rangoon’s notorious Insein prison are said to be in a hurry to complete trials against more than 20 political activists within a month, according to lawyers defending the activists.

A lawyer, defending activists in Rangoon, said “We were told that the court wanted to conclude the trails against political activists as soon as possible. So, it has scheduled the hearings to be held twice a week. We don’t know if the court can give a verdict within a month.”   insein-prison

“These days, the trials are faster than earlier. Normally, court hearings are scheduled once a week but now it is twice a week. They are doing so because they want to finish as soon as possible, but I am not aware of other reasons,” he added.

Kyaw Hoe, a lawyer who defends political activists confirmed that the special courts in Insein prison has been scheduling court hearings in short intervals and are in a hurry to conclude.

He said, cases that are to be wrapped up this month include that against 11 Arakanese youths, charged under the Immigration Act and communicating with illegal associations.

Lawyer Kyaw Hoe is defending the Arakanese youths, who were arrested in various occasions since September 4, 2009, from their homes in Rangoon as well as from various townships in Arakan State.

Beside these Arakanese youths, the trials against Thandar Tun and Maung Nyo, who were charged under the Immigration Act, the case of Naw Ohn Hla and the four women opposition members, charged with disrespecting the state and the trial against six activists from Yay Nan Chaung and Chauk of Magwe Division are scheduled to be concluded this month.

On January 13, the special court inside Insein prison sentenced Shwe Gyo, of Rangoon’s suburban Township of Hlaing, Sein Hlaing of Sanchaung Township and Ma Cho (aka) Myint Myint San of Ahlone Township to three years in prison respectively under charges of communicating with illegal associations.  

A Supreme Court advocate Kyi Win, who has been co-defending Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, said he believes that the reason behind the hurriedly conducted trials against activists could be because of the fast-approaching 2010 elections.

"When I last served at the office of the Legal Office, Chief Justice Aung Toe told us to hurry  the cases and to hand over the remaining cases to the military courts. We were hurried at that time because of the 1990 election. I think this is a similar case, the judges are now hurrying to conclude the trials as the 2010 election is approaching,” Kyi Win added.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 January 2010 16:33 )  

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