Court Delays Verdict Of Kachin State Ministers

The junta-appointed court has postponed its decision on the prosecution of seven National League for Democracy (NLD) ministers charged under Article 55 of the Anti-Corruption Law. A member of the NLD central executive committee told the KNG that the decision on the case of Kachin State Chief Minister Dr Khet Awng and six ministers from Kachin State was postponed to 22 April on 8 April.

“They aren’t guilty and that’s why the military junta delayed the pronouncement of the verdict,” said the ousted lawmaker. He said the armed forces arrested them and charged them on trumped-up charges after the fact.

Khet Awng and the others were taken into custody early in the morning when the military staged a coup to overthrow the NLD government on 1 February 2021. The military’s anti-corruption commission alleged that the ministers embezzled national funds and extorted money from businesspersons to build several offices for the NLD government between 2018 and 2020.

Khet Awng is accused of using $807K to build a government guesthouse by a private company without holding a tender for it. In addition, the junta commission alleges that Wai Lin, finance minister for Kachin State, demanded $16K from businesspersons for the construction of an NLD office in Mogaung Township, that Win Nyunt, transportation minister, forced businesspersons to provide $11K for an office in Waingmaw Township and $13K million kyats for a research centre in Naypyitaw, and that Dashi La Seng, minister of Natural Resources and Environment for Kachin State, collected $51K for an office in Hpakant Township.

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