Reuters reporter Ko Wa Lone recounted the day he was arrested last December for allegedly obtaining official secret documents, at his trial in a Yangon court on Tuesday.
At Monday’s hearing, defence lawyers presented three pieces of evidence to the judge – written news documents on the Rakhine issue, a record book of calls, and a copy of the editorial and ethics policies of the Reuters News Agency.
Except for the media ethics document, the other evidence was rejected by the court as not meeting the guidelines of Myanmar’s Evidence Act.
Tuesday’s court hearing was the second time, after the district court decision of July 9, that Ko Wa Lone and his colleague Ko Kyaw Soe Oo were charged with violating the colonial-era Official Secrets Act. The two Reuters reporters exposed the extrajudicial killing of 10 Muslim men by security forces at Inn Din village in strife-torn northern Rakhine State.
If found guilty, the two reporters face up to 14 years in prison.
During his testimony, Ko Wa Lone said police Lance Corporal Naing Lin called him two times to meet on the day he was arrested.
When they met, the policeman handed over some documents and told them to take a picture of them, which the reporters denied.
Lance Corporal Naing Lin, a prosecution witness, testified in an earlier hearing that he never met with the reporters and denied that he gave secret documents or shared his experiences with them about serving with the security forces in Rakhine.
After the hearing on Tuesday, Wa Lone said they followed media ethics in covering the massacre at Inn Din.
The testimony of Ko Kyaw Soe Oo will be heard by the court next Monday.
Ko Wa Lone and Ko Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested last December and charged with allegedly obtaining classified documents while covering the violence in northern Rakhine.