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Prosecution witness admits two Reuters reporters’ arrest was a police setup

A prosecution witness testified to the Yangon district court on Friday (April 20) that the two Reuters reporters arrested in November last year was victims of a police setup, the Irrawaddy Online reported.

Pol Cpt Moe Yan Naing told the court that Police Brigadier General Tin Ko Ko ordered the police to ensnare the two Reuters reporters, Ko Wa Lone and Ko Kyaw Soe Oo, who facing trial for violating the colonial-era Official Security Act.

Moe Yan Naing was interviewed by Wa Lone in November about police operations in the Rakhine state.  And he was one of the two officers from the 8th Security Police Battalion identified by police as allegedly involved in the case.

He said he had been under arrest since December 12 and had been told to testify as a prosecution witness.

The officer told the court about how Pol Brig-Gen Tin Ko Ko of the internal probe who instructed Pol Lance Corporal Naing Lin to arrange a meeting with Wa Lone and to hand over secret documents from Battalion 8 as part of a setup to ensnare the two reporters.

He added that then Tin Ko Ko ordered the Htaunt Kyant regional police force to arrest Wa Lone upon his departure from the restaurant where the meeting took place.

“I am revealing the truth because police of any rank have their own integrity.  It is true that they were set up,” he told the media.

The Home Affairs Ministry has said that it would take action against Moe Yan Naing and Naing Lin for their role in passing the government documents to the two Reuters reporters.

The arrest of the two reporters has been a subject of international condemnation and pressure for their release.

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