Court examines prosecutor in Eleven Media journalists’ case

18 October 2018
Court examines prosecutor in Eleven Media journalists’ case
Detained journalists from Eleven media, editor in chief Kyaw Zaw Linn (L), chief reporter Phyo Wai Win (C) and managing editor Nari Min (back), arrive in Tamwe township court for their trial in Yangon on 17 October 2018. Photo: Thura/Mizzima

The Eleven Media journalists who are charged with section 505(b) of Penal Code (public mischief) were produced before the court for the first time on October 17 and the court reportedly examined the prosecution first.

Advocate Kyee Myint who represents the journalists said that in examining the prosecution it was found that documents issued by investment commission were not included in the direct complaint filed at the court by the prosecution.

The court accepted the bail application submitted by journalists and the court will pass a bail order on October 26.

“This case is a bailable offence. This is not a criminal case. It is natural the reporter writes a news story. They should be given bail while defending their case. They are in the ranks of chief editors in their media house. So, the court should give them bail if they have no fear in deciding this bail application and if they have independence and full discretion in this trial,” Advocate Kyee Myint said.

Yangon Region government director Aung Kyaw Khaing, on behalf of Region Government, filed a direct complaint under section 505(b) of Penal Code (public mischief) against Eleven Media editor-in-chief Kyaw Zaw Lin, editor-in-chief Nayi Min and chief reporter Phyo Wai Win for facts included a story which appeared in an October 8 issue of Eleven Journal.

Columnist Phyo Wai wrote the article entitled ‘Ever losing gas stations, school buses bought with money borrowed from the unknown lender and public shares in individual’s name.’ He quoted a debate in Yangon Region legislative assembly by legislators and an audit report submitted by region auditor general in the article.

The article claimed that keeping public shares of Yangon Metropolitan public company constituted by Yangon Region government under an individual’s name was wrong in the procedure.

Yangon Region government issued a statement saying the article caused disaffection in the government and it induced people to commit crimes against the government.

Section 505(b) of Penal Code carries a maximum punishment of two years’ imprisonment or fine or both.