By Than Htike Oo
Thursday, 24 July 2008
Chiang Mai (Mizzima) — Despite of the absence of a key prosecutor's witness, a township court in Burma's former capital on Thursday conducted the hearing of the case of a Burmese female reporter, who was arrested while covering on victims of Cyclone Nargis.
The Tamwe Township court in Rangoon Division on Thursday conducted the hearing of the case of Ein Khaing Oo, age 24, a reporter of Ecovision Monthly Journal.
While a key witness of the prosecution, police SIP Zaw Min Nyunt, fail to appear in court on Thursday, the case was conducted with 18 other prosecution witnesses.
"The court heard the testimony of police Sgt. Myint Oo, one of the 18 prosecution witnesses. The police personnel were present at the scene when she was arrested," Khin Maung Shein, defence lawyer of her codefendant Kyaw Kyaw Thant, told Mizzima.
According to Khin Maung Shein, Police Sgt. Myint Oo testified that he was in front of the United Nations Development Programme office on June 10 and he arrested Ein Khaing Oo, who was there to cover on the plight of Cyclone victims, on orders given to him by higher authorities.
Ein Khaing Oo is reportedly charged under section 505(b) of the Criminal Code, crime against public tranquility and could face up to two years in prison and a fine if found guilty.
The lawyer said, her family members also came for the hearing but the court adjourn and fixed July 31 for the next hearing of her case.
Ein Khaing Oo along with Kyaw Kyaw Thant was arrested in front of the UNDP office in Natmauk Street in Tamwe Township, while covering on the plight of about 30 cyclone victims who have marched from South Dagon Township to seek for assistance from International aid agencies on June 10.
Her case was earlier scheduled to be heard on July 2, but the court postponed the date to Thursday, July 24, after the defence lawyers asked for more time to study the case files.
She had just joined the 'Ecovision Journal' as a junior reporter when she was arrested.
'Ecovision' was first published in September 2006, and mainly covered economic issues. But later it shifted its coverage to domestic and international news, and also publishes health and sports articles periodically.