Anti-corruption watchdog focuses on six Yangon courts

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Anti-corruption watchdog focuses on six Yangon courts

Courts in six Yangon townships are facing scrutiny from a local corruption watchdog over alleged corrupt practices.

Daw Nyo Nyo Thin, founder of Yangon Watch, said that in the past three years her group has monitored courts in the economic capital and found rampant corruption among court officials in North and South Okkalapa, Yankin, Bahan, East and North Dagon townships.

Bribery is the most common form of corruption found in these courts, she said.

“Yankin and Bahan townships courts are not as bad, but they still need to be watched,” Daw Nyo Nyo Thin said.

Yangon Watch said the officials “use large amounts of money to negotiate with judges and police to get bail,” she said. “In many cases, relatives tried to pay bribes for the accused because they didn’t know how the law works.”

Daw Nyo Nyo Thin added that some courts charged exorbitant fees for photocopying legal documents, sometimes as much as five times the regular fee, she added.

North Okkalapa was allegedly the worst of the five townships, according to Daw Nyo Nyo Thin.

Advocate U Kyi Myint said he would not dispute the findings of corruption in the courts by Yangon Watch.

“It’s 100 percent true that there is corruption in the courts,” he said. “It’s not fair that people have to pay charges for photocopying their case files.”

The Myanmar Times was not able to reach judiciary officials for comment.