Legal proceedings underway for monks and activists

Aug 29, 2008 (DVB), Prominent monk U Gambira, a fellow monk from Mandalay and comedian Zarganar were due to appear in court yesterday as legal proceedings continued against activists, according to defence lawyer U Aung Thein.

High-profile monk leader U Gambira's case was heard by a Kyimyintaing township judge, who set a date for his trial to begin on charges of religious defamation and disturbing the public order under sections 295(a) and 505(b) of the penal code and one other charge.

U Gambira and a monk from Mandalay named U Kathawla and Zarganar appeared in Insein prison special court yesterday.

Mandalay monk U Kathawla has been charged under the Unlawful Association Act, the press law, section 505(b) of the penal code and one other charge.

His next hearing will be on 4 September.

Comedian and activist Zarganar's court appointment, which was due to be held today, has been rescheduled for 4 September.

The next court hearing has also been set for the 88 generation student leaders, including Min Ko Naing and Ko May Aye, who appeared in court for the first time on 27 August.

Sources close to Insein prison said the student leaders will face numerous up to 35 different charges between them, and their court dates have been set for 2, 4 and 5 September.

The student leaders are also preparing to submit a legal demand to allow them not to be handcuffed during the legal proceedings and for their trial to be held in an open court.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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