Twelve Suspected Taliban Sentenced to Jail
Twelve of the 19 suspects who were arrested on charges of associating with the Taliban and other Islamic militant groups have been convicted and sentenced to various jail terms in Maungdaw, a border town in western Burma’s Arakan State, said a lawyer of the court and police.
A lawyer from the Maungdaw District Court said the court sentenced twelve of the suspects for periods lasting between 3 to 8 years in jail, and acquitted and released the seven others from the case.
Shown are those from the group of 19 people who were arrested by authorities in for illegal connection with the Taliban. The picture was taken at the police lockup in Maungdaw.
He said the main suspect, leader of the group U Zaw Win (a) Kalu was sentenced to the longest jail term of 8 years, while the rest were given sentences ranging from 3-5 years by the court.
The court passed the final verdicts on the accused in a closed door hearing at 11:30am on Tuesday, deploying tight security throughout it's premises and on nearby streets. No one including the family members of the suspects were allowed to enter the court.
A police officer from the Maungdaw Police Station also confirmed that the convicts have been sent to Buthidaung Prison, which is situated 16 miles northeast of Maungdaw. They were taken in a vehicle escorted by policeforces. The released were handed over to the police station to be sent back to their families.
The 19 were arrested by the Burmese border security force Nasaka in early March this year from Khamaungseik and other nearby villages in Maungdaw Township, based on secret tips that they were linked to, and associated with the Taliban and other Islamic militant groups based on the Bangladesh side of the border, and had undertaken bomb and combat training.
They were charged under the law concerning forming or connecting with illegal organizations. They were brought to trial under sections 17(1) and 17(2) by the Nasaka. The case began on the 5th of April 2011 and finally closed after five months of trial at the district court of Maungdaw.
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