Friday, 11 January 2008

Ko Htin Kyaw's Trial Held In Insein Prison, While His Lawyer Was Kept Outside

9 January 2008
Original report by Aye Nai, DVB

Commodity price protest leader Ko Htin Kyaw's trial was held in Insein prison today. His lawyer was however denied access, it is reported.

Senior Attorney U Aung Thein, who was handed general power from Ko Htin Kyaw, arrived at the prison by mid-day and reported of his presence to the authorities but was neither allowed to see his client nor informed of any details of the case.

"We were told that permission for our entry was not given yet, so we kept on waiting outside the prison. We waited there from 12:00 to 02:45, before we came back. Although I have obtained the general power for him, I wasn't permitted to see my client. I wasn't allowed to see the judge either. I don't even know what time the hearing was held," he said.

Usually, the court hearing for cases which are related to politics are held at township magistrate courts. However, there is evidence that many trials have been held inside the prisons, with the visiting judge and without remand.

U Aung Thein said, "It is already a great loss for the defendant if he does not get the case properly heard in a magistrate court and with his representatives by his side. If that was the intention, then we can't do much about it."

Ko Htin Kyaw was arrested on 24 August and was being held in Insein prison while facing prosecution for 'creating a riot'. During his custody, he staged a hunger strike for 30 days, demanding the release of all political prisoners.

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