Artharwaddy monks and nuns appear in court

Mar 4, 2008 (DVB), Eight monks and seven nuns from Artharwaddy monastery in North Okkalapa township, who were arrested in Rangoon after last year's September protests, appeared in court on 27 February.

The eight monks included abbot U Arnanda, and were from the Thitsa Tharapu monastery within the Artharwaddy compound, while the nuns lived separately in another building on the premises.

North Okkalapa township Peace and Development Council officials appeared as witnesses for the prosecution, defence lawyer U Nyi Nyi Hlaing said.

"The nuns have been accused of making money by charging people to stay at the monastery, and U Arnanda has also been accused of making false birth certificates," Nyi Nyi Hlaing said.

The next court hearing for the group will be on 11 March.

Another monk from a different monastery in the same compound is being held in Insein prison.

This monk, U Yaywada, is facing charges of selling two-digit lottery cards and disgracing the Sasana.

Reporting by Yee May Aung

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