Chief minister of Magway Region hit with another charge for ‘undue influence’ at election

The junta added another charge to the casefile against the ousted chief minister of Magway Region last week, his lawyer told Myanmar Now. 

Lawyer Myint Aung said that an officer from the district election commission is suing 64-year-old Dr Aung Moe Nyo for alleged abuse of authority and that the case is being tried at the Magway Township courthouse. 

The first hearing for the charge—of violating Section 171f of the Penal Code—took place on December 17, he added. 

The statute for “undue influence” at an election carries a prison sentence of up to two years with hard labour, as well as a fine. 

Aung Moe Nyo reportedly did not offer any comment on the additional election-related charge. He faces six other charges for the alleged violation of Section 55 of the Anti-Corruption Law, which each carry a maximum sentence of up to 15 years; he pleaded not guilty on all counts. 

The chief minister stands accused of incurring unnecessary costs to the state in the building of two colleges and a high school and accepting 50m kyat (US$28,150) in bribes in exchange for giving a company, Denko, permission to build a petrol station on a farm. 

The junta has alleged that Aung Moe Nyo spent funds designated for regional development plans for his own personal use, and allowed power generation projects to operate even though their licences were not renewed, causing financial losses on land leases. 

Through those projects, the military council accused Aung Moe Nyo of causing the state financial losses that ranged from 9m kyat ($5,000) to 2.5b kyat ($1.4m).

Aung Moe Nyo has already been convicted of incitement and sentenced by the military council to two years in prison in June. 

He was initially put under house arrest on the day of the coup—February 1—and accused of perpetrating voter fraud. He was transferred to prison and slapped with several criminal charges after he posted a live streamed video on Facebook condemning the junta’s crackdown on the public. 

Myint Aung expects a verdict to be delivered in the corruption cases by the end of the year. 

Since the coup, the junta has levied major criminal charges against several leaders from the National League for Democracy party, including Aung San Suu Kyi. 

Chief minister of Karen State Nang Khin Htwe Myint was sentenced to 75 years in prison after being convicted of five corruption charges in a junta court. She also was handed two years’ imprisonment for an incitement charge. 

Another NLD minister, Than Naing, was sentenced to 92 years in prison. 

If convicted on all counts he is facing, Aung Moe Nyo could face a sentence of more than 90 years in prison. 

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