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Ross Dunkley sentenced to one-month; will not serve time

(Mizzima) – The Australian journalist Ross Dunkley, the former chief executive officer of the Myanmar Consolidated Media Group Ltd, has received a one-month prison sentence, but he will not serve time because he was detained for 44 days in Insein Prison following his arrest.

Ross Dunkley outside Kamayut Court after his conviction on charges of assaulting a woman.  Photo: MizzimaDunkley said he would appeal the conviction by the Kamayut Township Court.

After a five-month trial, the court in Rangoon on Thursday handed down a one-month sentence after finding him guilty of assaulting a female plaintiff, Khaing Zar Lin. He was also  fined 100,000 kyat (about US$ 142) for violating the Burmese Immigration act.
“I did not beat her,” Dunkley said.  “I did not give her drugs. I did not commit any crime, so I will file an appeal against the court’s decision.”
Shortly after the judge delivered the verdict, Dunkley told his lawyers to challenge the decision.
“Filing an appeal is the right of the defendant. He said he wanted to file an appeal, so we will help him,” Dunkley’s lawyer Min Sein told Mizzima.

Dunkley’s visa expired on January 17. He has applied to extend his current visa that will expire in late August.
Lawyer Min Sein said that it was difficult to know whether Dunkley’s visa could be renewed or not, beause of the guilty verdict.

“The Immigration Department has his visa in the palm of its hand. In the past, some foreigners who committed a crime could not renew their visa while others could. Ross Dunkley did not involve himself in politics. He is just working on a journal. His stay will depend on the Immigration Department.”
It is not clear whether the Myanmar Consolidated Media Group Ltd would reappoint Dunkley as its chief executive officer.
“I don’t know. The decision must be made by the board of directors of the Myanmar Times,” said Wai Lin, a spokesman of the English-language newspaper.  
Following Dunkley’s arrest, Dr. Tin Tun Oo, a shareholder of the Myanmar Consolidated Media Group Ltd, was named chief executive officer of the company.
After Dunkley was released from Insein Prison on bail, he continued working as the English editor in the Myanmar Times. Originally from Perth, Australia, Dunkley was the first foreigner to enter the Burmese domestic journal market in 2000.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 30 June 2011 20:37 )  

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