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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        1  June  2011

Myanmar publisher’s case adjourned

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The Kamaryut Township Court in Yangon, Myanmar, yesterday adjourned until June 14 hearings against Ross Dunkley, co-founder of the Myanmar Times and publisher of The Phnom Penh Post.

The decision to adjourn the case came after a hearing lasting one hour and 15 minutes, during which Dunkley, 53, testified that he had not committed any crimes and was innocent of all charges against him.

Dunkley answered questions yesterday from defence attorneys regarding his relationship with the 29-year-old Myanmar woman who had originally sought to bring criminal charges against him. He was arrested on February 10 after being accused of assaulting the woman and breaching immigration regulations. At a hearing on May 12, however, the judge had accepted an application from the woman to withdraw criminal charges against Dunkley.

The woman had first sought to have the charges against Dunkley withdrawn at a hearing in late February at which the judge declined to accept her application.

The June 14 hearing is expected to focus on cross-examination of the testimony given at yesterday’s session.

After the hearing, Dunkley, told journalists that there were “no complications” regarding the case and that the process was proceeding normally.

Mr. Dunkley was arrested on February 10 and charged with violating criminal and immigration laws.

In a statement at the time of Dunkley’s arrest, David Armstrong, the chairman of The Phnom Penh Post publisher Post Media Ltd, said the incident “coincides with tense and protracted discussions Mr Dunkley and the foreign ownership partners in the Myanmar Times have been conducting with local partners about the future direction of the publishing group”.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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