Karen National Union leader faces jail sentence

The lawyer of Karen National Union leader, U Kyi Myint, said he would defend all charges against Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung, who is now being held in Insein Prison.

The lawyer, U Kyi Myint told Karen News that he will try to find the way to defend the major charges keeping the KNU leader in jail.

“I will defend him in accordance to the law. He should not be punished for incorrect charges laid against him,” U Kyi Myint said after the last Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung court appearance on February 13.

Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung was charged with treason and having connections with illegal organizations – namely the KNU and other ethnic opposition groups. If he is found guilty of those charges, he will faces a possible death sentence or life imprisonment.

A member of the KNU ceasefire delegation who recently held official ‘peace talks’ with the Burma government said that Railways Minister, Aung Min promised at the meeting, on January 12th, that Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung would be released.

Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung’s lawyer, U Kyi Myint said.

“An amnesty is not a certainty. We should not rely or place our faith on unsure hopes.”

Lawyer U Kyi Myint spoke of his brief meeting with the jailed KNU leader. U Kyi Myint said Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung feels bad that the authorities broke their promise to release him. The jailed KNU leader said he cooperated fully with the authorities in regard to the ‘peace talks’ between the KNU and government. The lawyer did not explain to Karen News about what kind of ‘cooperation’ Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung gave the authorities.

Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung’s lawyer pointed out that three of the persecution witnesses from the Burma police force did not qualify as ‘concrete proof of guilt’.

Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung’s troubles started in July 2010 when Chinese immigration officials in Kunming arrested him while he was traveling on a Burmese passport. Earlier he had been refused entry to Thailand and was sent back to China from Bangkok. China then deported him to Burma in August, where he has been held in jail.

The next court appearance will be Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung second – his first was on February 9.

Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung is a member of the KNU central executive committee and a committee member of the ethnic alliance – United Nationalities Federal Council.

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