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Quick verdict expected by Myawaddy court in case against Canadian photojournalist

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – A 62-year-old Canadian national is being tried in Myawaddy District Court for illegally crossing the border into Burma. Observers say the verdict could be delivered by Friday evening.

The Myawaddy District Court verdict in the trial of a Canadian national charged with illegally crossing the border is expected soon. Myawaddy, across from Mae Sot, Thailand, is the site of a new Burmese industrial economic zone shown in this file photo. Photo: MizzimaRon Zakereski, 62, a photojournalist, was arrested on March 24 for illegally entering Wawlay, Burma, by crossing the Moei River from Phop Phra south of Mae Sot.

While in Burma, he reportedly took photographs of the site of a skirmish between Burmese troops and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army.

After he was charged by the  Immigration Department, court hearings were held  on Wednesday and Thursday. Sources said that he did not have a lawyer to represent him in court.

Zakereski told the court that he was not aware of entering Burma and he thought that he was in Thailand, sources said.

Police told the court that he was trying to conceal his presence, according to sources. A report on the case was reportedly submitted to the Home Affairs Minister in Naypyitaw.

Zakereski was detained and interrogated in the Kheenyalee Police Station near Wawlay Village for nearly a week before he appeared in the Myawaddy District Court on March 31. The Immigration Department charged him under section 13/1 of Immigration Act.

Before entering Burma, he stayed at the Green Guest House in Mae Sot. One of his friends told Mizzima via e-mail that on March 26 and 27, he was allowed to contact friends in the guest house by telephone during his detention at the police station.

Last Updated ( Friday, 08 April 2011 19:15 )  

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