Wednesday, August 24, 2011

License of lawyer known for representing farmers revoked

Wednesday, 24 August 2011 12:11 Phanida

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Union Supreme Court has revoked the license of a lawyer who is a member of the Lawyers’ Network formed by the National League for Democracy (NLD) party. He is known for representing farmers involved in the forcible seizure of their land by the state or private companies.

The seizure of farmers' land by the state or private
businesses has been an ongoing issue in Burmese
politics. Under the current law, farmers are not
allowed to own their land. Photo: Mizzima
The lawyer, Tin Tun Aung, 46, of Minbu, said: “I despise bribery and corruption but these evil things are rampant here, and I became an obstacle for them in the corrupt judicial machinery. They have made malicious accusations against me to kick me out of the profession.”

The revocation order is dated August 9. It was signed by Supreme Court Naypyitaw Director Tin Tin and posted at the Minbu District Court.

The order said, “Lawyer Tin Tun Aung is infamous for urging his clients to lodge complaint letters and [he] drafts these complaint letters for the clients especially when the cases he represented had little chance to win at the courts.

“According to the complaint letters lodged against him, he is found not to be performing his job in accordance with the professional conduct for lawyers and he is found to be infamous for his professional misconduct in the practice of the law.”

The order was based on a meeting of Union Supreme Court Justices on May 5. It cited section 13(f) of the Lawyers Act. The order did not disclose any details of its investigation.

Tin Tun Aung is the member of the Lawyers’ Network established by the NLD, but he is not an NLD member. He denied all allegations leveled against him.

There are about 50 lawyers in the network in Mandalay, Monywa, Magwe, Sagaing and Pakokku, according to Aung Thein, a lawyer in Rangoon.

Aung Thein said that Tin Tun Aung was probably singled out because of his filing so many cases around Kamma Township in the Magwe Region.

Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. and the Htoo Company have been involved in disputes involving the seizure of farmlands around Sissayan village in Kamma Township to build a caustic factory. Tay Za, a close business associate of former junta members, owns the companies. Five farmers were charged with trespassing and obstructing a state project and sentenced to eight years imprisonment. Appellate courts commuted their sentences to three months each and the farmers were released on June 30.

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