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Ruling made in missing Kachin woman’s unlawful arrest suit

(Mizzima) – The Burmese Supreme Court has delivered a verdict in the unlawful arrest lawsuit involving a Kachin woman – missing now for five months – who was last seen in the custody of Burmese soldiers on October 28, 2011.

Sumlut Roi Ja, who has been missing for five months, was last seen in the custody of Burmese army soldiers. Photo: MizzimaThe two attorneys for the woman say they were not informed of the verdict, which was handed down during the first week of March. One of the woman’s lawyers, Zau Seng, said he learned of the verdict only by talking to the court’s staff, which did not tell him how the court ruled.

Sumlut Roi Ja, 28, was on her way to work on a farm with her husband and her father when government soldiers from Light Infantry Unit No. 321 from Lweje village in Momauk Township arrested them, alleging they worked in intelligence for the Kachin Independence Army, said her attorney.

Sumlut Roi Ja’s husband and father escaped on the day of the arrests, and her husband, Zawng Hkawng, filed suit, asking the army to account for her whereabouts.

Captain Kyaw Kyaw Htay of Light Infantry Unit No. 321 and Major Zay Yar Aung of Infantry Unit No. 37 testified in the suit as the representatives of two battalions in the area.

“They testified that they knew about Sumlut Roi Ja’s case only after it was reported,” said Markhar, another lawyer for the family. “They said no complaint was launched with them in the past. The Northern Command set up a tribunal to examine the charge. They said that in the Northern Command, there was no incident like Roi Ja’s case.”
“We still don’t know how it was decided,” said attorney Zau Seng. “So we must go to the Supreme Court in Naypyitaw to copy the verdict and the case file.”
In the last hearing in the case, which was conducted on February 23, the court said that a verdict would be delivered about one week later. The court’s failure to notify the lawyers was “unfair,” Markhar told Mizzima.
Sumlut Roi Ja is the mother of one child. The lawsuit was filed in January 2011 in the Supreme Court in Naypyitaw and hearings were conducted on February 9 and February 23.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 March 2012 18:53 )  

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