Monday, April 30, 2012

Newspaper refuses to reveal reporter’s name in gov’t suit

Monday, 30 April 2012 15:34 Myo Thant

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – In response to a Ministry of Mines request to reveal the name of a reporter who wrote an article citing financial transgressions of the ministry by quoting information from the Union auditor-general's office, the newspaper said it would not do so.

The journal’s editor-in-chief, Kyaw Min Swe, said in a hearing that responsibility for a story should be borne by the editor and the publisher.

The Voice newspaper

“It’s obvious that there is no reason to reveal the reporter’s name…the one who should bear the responsibility is not the reporter. The editor-in-chief and the publisher have to shoulder the responsibility,” Kyaw Min Swe told Mizzima.

Win Shwe, a lawyer for the newspaper, in an April 9 hearing cited a precedent in a 1935 case in which a Burmese court upheld a request not to reveal a reporter’s name.

“There are old examples of such cases,” said Win Shwe.

The next hearing will be conduced on May 11. “If the court decides [we must] reveal the reporter’s name, we will appeal to the relevant higher court,” he said.

The Voice on March 12 reported that the Ministry of Mines sold 50 per cent of the shares in the Monywa copper mines, owned by the ministry, to the Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (UMEHL), but that a foreign company paid the money on behalf of UMEHL, citing information from the government auditor-general’s office.

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