Burmese Supreme Court Justice Detained, Will Be Charged


2004.11.24
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BANGKOK—Burmese authorities have detained a Supreme Court justice linked to ousted premier Khin Nyunt for allegedly threatening state security.

Tun Shin, a sitting justice on the Burmese Supreme Court in Rangoon, was taken into custody last week, sources told RFA’s Burmese service.

“We found this out when the Supreme Court was in session with an empty chair,” one source said.

Tun Shin, formerly director of the central government’s Bureau of Special Investigations, is to be charged with violating section 5-J of the Burmese Penal Code—threatening state security.

The penalty for this offense wasn’t immediately known and Burmese government officials couldn’t be reached for comment.

According to the State Department’s 2003 report on human rights around the world, the Burmese judiciary “is not independent of the Government. The SPDC [ruling State Peace and Development Council] appoints justices to the Supreme Court who, in turn, appoint lower court judges with the approval of the SPDC.”

“These courts then adjudicate cases under decrees promulgated by the SPDC that effectively have the force of law. The court system includes courts at the township, district, state, and national levels,” the report said.

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