The Voice pair ignore police summons


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.

Support more independent journalism like this. Sign up to be a Frontier member.

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.

More stories

Latest Issue

Stories in this issue
Myanmar enters 2021 with more friends than foes
The early delivery of vaccines is one of the many boons of the country’s geopolitics, but to really take advantage, Myanmar must bury the legacy of its isolationist past.
Will the Kayin BGF go quietly?
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.

Support our independent journalism and get exclusive behind-the-scenes content and analysis

Stay on top of Myanmar current affairs with our Daily Briefing and Media Monitor newsletters.

Sign up for our Frontier Fridays newsletter. It’s a free weekly round-up featuring the most important events shaping Myanmar