Politburo member: Naw Kham’s case will stand the test of law, history and people

Zhou Yongkang, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China, while on a 3-day visit to Jinghong, opposite Burma’s Mongla, 27-29 October, expressed hope that judicial authorities there could do solid work in sentencing Naw Kham and his 4 associates, who had stood trial last September for the murders of 13 sailors on the Mekong river on 5 October 2011, reported Xinhua.

Zhou Yongkang (C, front), a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, visits local villagers in Mandiu Village of Jinghong City, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Oct. 27, 2012. Zhou made an inspection tour in Yunnan from Oct. 27 to 29. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
By using facts as the basis and the law as the criterion, he hoped “the case will stand the test of law, history and people.”

Some law enforcement staff even gave their lives investigating the case, added Zhou.
Naw Kham, known as the Godfather of the Golden Triangle, where Laos, Burma and Thailand meet, was captured on 25 April by Laotain authorities, deported to Jinghong on 10 May and went on trial, 20-21 September.
The verdict is yet to be announced, raising speculations whether the court has obtained sufficient evidence to convict him.

Naw Kham, 43, isn’t the first prominent Burmese to go to court in China. Before him was Yang Muxian, an ethnic Kokang whose brother Yang Molian was one of the leader of the successful mutiny against the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) in 1989. He was arrested on 9 May and charged with smuggling heroin into Yunnan.

According to the article by Bertil Lintner in the Far Eastern Economic Review, 22 December 1994, Yang, together with 16 others, were put on trial on 7 October and convicted. They were then paraded through the streets of Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, before execution of one by one, each with a single bullet in the nape of the neck.

14 years later Beijing announced that all criminals sentenced to death would receive a lethal injection instead of being executed by gunshot, explaining lethal injection was more humane.

It remains to be seen how the verdict will come out. But a Thai lawyer told SHAN earlier that had Naw Kham been tried in Thailand, he could have got off scot-free for lack of evidence.


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