The Voice pair ignore police summons

By SU MYAT MON | FRONTIER

YANGON — Defendants in The Voice defamation case will ignore a new police summons issued in the wake of a charge being dropped against one of the accused, their lawyer says.

Satirist British Ko Ko Maung and The Voice editor-in-chief U Kyaw Min Swe were asked to attend Bahan Township police station on June 25. It is unclear they were summonsed, but it is likely to presage further charges against the pair.

The summons was issued after British Ko Ko Maung, whose real name is Ko Kyaw Zwa Naing, was released from jail on June 16 after a court decided to drop a defamation charge against him under section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law.

The court has refused to grant bail to his co-accused, Kyaw Min Swe, who is being held in Insein Prison. They were arrested in mid-May after the Tatmadaw submitted a complaint to police over a column published in March.

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At a press conference on June 25, Voice editor Kyaw San Min and lawyer U Myo Thein, who is representing Kyaw Min Swe, said they would ignore the police order.

“We won’t follow up [with the police] to resolve another case because it is the same matter,” said Ko Kyaw San Min, editor of The Voice Daily.

U Khin Maung Myint, a legal adviser to The Voice, said the case should have been resolved under section 25(b) of the News Media Law rather than the Telecommunications Law.

The Voice has asked the News Media Council to intervene in Kyaw Min Swe’s case and negotiate a resolution. Khin Maung Myint said the council had emailed a response on June 23 in which it said it could not “interfere” in a case before the courts.

“However, there is no law that states the News Media Council cannot get involved in cases that are before a court,” he said.

The legal team for the defence has also applied again for the case to be transferred to the Western District Court so it can be heard in front of a different judge, he added.

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