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Burmese court sets another hearing on dismissing Dunkley charges

Mizzima – After Australian journalist Ross Dunkley made a preliminary statement to the Kamayut Court Township Court on Tuesday regarding his case of criminal assault and immigration violations, the court scheduled another hearing for May 30 because attorneys for the state and the defence were absent.

Dunkley surrounded by journalists at the Kamayut Township court on May 24. Photo : MizzimaOn May 12, the state prosecutor asked the court to dismiss the criminal charges against Dunkley, who is out on bail after being held in Insein Prison for more than one month.

At that hearing, the prosecutor said the female plaintiff said that she wished to withdraw her complaint because she could not recall what happened. Dunkley is charged with assaulting the woman, giving her drugs and holding her against her will.

In her statement, she said that the she had just informed the police of the incident and did not want to press charges. Observers said she tried to withdraw her statement during previous hearings but the court did not allow it.

On Tuesday, the CEO of the Myanmar Times, Dr. Tin Tun Oo, said that he hoped to see Dunkley, a cofounder of the newspaper, free of criminal charges and acquitted in the immigration case. He said that he believed the court proceedings would end soon.
Also attending the hearing were staff members of the Myanmar Times, the consul from the Australian embassy and journalists from domestic and foreign media.

The case against Dunkley, who is also the publisher of the The Phnom Penh Post, has attracted worldwide interest in the media community. Originally from Perth, Australia, Dunkley was the first foreigner in recent times to enter the Burmese domestic newspaper market in 2000 when he joined forces with Sonny Shwe, the son of a close ally of then military intelligence chief and junta prime minister, Khin Nyunt. Less than a year after Khin Nyunt’s purging from the military junta, Sonny Shwe was arrested and new Burmese co-owners took over his stake in the paper.

Dunkley holds 49 percent ownership in the English-language newspaper.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 May 2011 18:50 )  

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