Arakan MP-elect found guilty of trespass, intimidation

Arakan MP-elect found guilty of trespass, intimidation

An Arakanese politician victorious in November polls for the state’s parliament has been sentenced to six months in prison. The verdict strips him of his right to serve in the legislature, however he reserves the right to appeal.

On Thursday Hla Aung Nyunt, of the Arakan National Party (ANP), was found guilty of making death threats to the female aide of an election rival from the Union Solidarity and Development Party.

Last year, Hla Aung Nyunt entered the home of Oo Mya Kyi and threatened her for her work as an assistant to the USDP’s San Shwe Aung. The pair had been involved in the provision of flood relief to Arakan State residents affected by Cyclone Komen, which hit Burma’s west in July 2015.

“Daw Oo Mya Kyi sued the ANP representative alleging that he entered her home some time before the elections and told her to stop assisting U San Shwe Aung’s relief work, threatening that he would kill her right in the house,” said the ANP’s Vice President, Aye Nu Sein.

Hla Aung Nyunt stood trial at Myebon Township Court, in the state’s capital Sittwe. The court on Thursday sentenced him to two six-month prison terms – to be served concurrently – for trespassing and criminal intimidation.

“He was sentenced twice to six months in prison for trespassing under the Penal Code Article 451 and criminal intimidation, Article 506,” confirmed Aye Nu Sein, who also serves as the party’s lawyer.

The ANP candidate went on to win Minbya Township, with San Shwe Aung the runner up. The USDP man could step into Hla Aung Nyunt’s vacated state parliament seat, if the guilty defendant loses an appeal.

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The ANP initially won 23 seats in the state parliament, a cohort which could now be cut to 22 due to Hla Aung Nyunt’s conviction. Burma’s election laws prevent convicted criminals from sitting in parliament. The party is now planning to file appeal for him at Mrauk-U district court.

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