14 January 2022, Sittwe
Former Arakan State Chief Minister U Nyi Pu and a former municipal minister for the state, U Min Aung, who have been facing additional election-related charges, appeared before the Sittwe Township Court on January 14 via video conferencing.
U Nyi Pu has been charged under Section 130(a) of the Penal Code and U Min Aung has been charged under Sections 130(a) and 109 of the Penal Code, and a case management programme was made during Friday’s court hearing, according to their lawyer.
U Win Aung, a lawyer from the Thazin Legal Aid Group, told DMG: “U Nyi Pu has been accused of breaching the election law and U Min Aung has been accused of abetting him.”
The court decided that the plaintiff and prosecution witnesses will be examined within 55 days and the side of the accused will be examined within another 55 days, U Win Aung said.
The next hearing has been scheduled for January 24.
U Thurein Htut, deputy director of the Arakan State election subcommission, filed the latest lawsuit against the ministers on December 8, accusing them of vote-rigging in connection with Myanmar’s 2020 general election.
On January 6, U Thurein Htut told DMG: “I am in a situation that I am not able to tell about the case at the moment. I do not know when the court will hear it.”
U Nyi Pu, U Min Aung and three other Arakan State ministers — U Kyaw Aye Thein, former minister for Finance, Revenue, Planning and Economics, U Aung Kyaw Zan, former minister for Electricity, Industry and Transportation, and U Kyaw Lwin, former minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry and Mining — are also facing charges under Section 55 of the Anti-Corruption Law.
U Nyi Pu has already been sentenced to two years in prison with hard labour under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code, and U Min Aung has been sentenced two years’ imprisonment with hard labour under Section 19 of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law and another two months in prison under Section 25 of the Natural Disaster Management Law.