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April 25, 2018

Police witness tells court Myanmar officers gave two Reuters journalists secret documents to ‘entrap’ them

By Sam Forsdick

A police officer has said two Reuters journalists facing charges of breaching the Official Secrets Act in Myanmar were set up in a “trap” to get them arrested.

A witness in court has said journalists Wa Lone (pictured) and Kyaw Soe Oo were planted with evidence by police. They are both being detained in jail.

In a statement to court, Police Captain Moe Yan Naing said Myanmar police were told to give the journalists “secret documents” at a restaurant in order to “entrap” them.

Reuters reported that Yan Niang said in his statement: “Police Brigadier Tin Ko Ko gave the documents to Police Lance Corporal Naing Lin and told him to give them to Wa Lone.

“He said that when he comes out of the restaurant, the police force has to entrap him and arrest him. Tin Ko Ko told the police members: ‘If you don’t get Wa Lone, you will go to jail.’”

A statement from Reuters said: “Today the court finally heard the truth. One of the prosecution’s own witnesses admitted that the police received orders to plant evidence and arrest Lone and Soe Oo on false charges.

“This case cannot be squared with fairness or justice, and it’s time to bring it to an end. We call for our journalists’ immediate release.”

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Lone and Soe Oo were arrested on 12 December 2017 and charged with breaking the Official Secrets Act for possession of secret government papers.

The two journalists had been working on an investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men in Rakhine state, Myanmar.

A motion to dismiss the case was rejected by Judge, Ye Lwin, earlier this month.

Picture: Ann Wang/Reuters

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