Feb 14, 2008 (DVB)-The defence lawyer for a National League for Democracy member who was recently sentenced to life imprisonment has claimed that his client's punishment is unlawful.
Lawyer U Myint Thwin said that Ko Thiha, a youth member of Meikhtila township NLD in Mandalay division, was arrested by the authorities in August 2007 for possession of political leaflets bearing messages such as, "It is time to get back on track" and, "Where there are students, there are student unions".
Two weeks later, he was charged with sedition and incitement to offences against the public tranquility under sections 124(a) and 505(b) of the penal code.
The court sentenced him to life imprisonment plus an additional two-year jail term for the offences.
U Myint Thwin said it was unfair to give such harsh punishment to his client since he had only been found in possession of political documents and had not been distributing them himself.
"They can jail him for two years for a violation of 505(b) because of his possession of documents that could lead to public mischief. But life imprisonment for a violation of 124(a), sedition, is very inappropriate," said Myint Thwin.
"Even the two year jail term for the 505(b) violation is harsh for my client because the documents were only found on him, he was not distributing them or chanting the slogans publicly."
U Myint Thwin said he is now preparing an appeal on behalf of his client.
Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew