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Myanmar court to hear government suit against magazine

YANGON, Myanmar – A court in Myanmar has agreed to accept a defamation case brought by a government ministry against a local magazine that published a story about corruption in government.

Yangon’s Dagon Township Court said Thursday that the lawsuit filed by the Mines Ministry against The Voice weekly will come to trial Oct. 5. The case will be a test of the justice system under reformist President Thein Sein’s government, which has committed itself to freedom of the press since succeeding a repressive military regime last year.

The ministry sued in March after The Voice wrote about alleged misappropriation and irregularities in the finances of the information, agriculture, industry and mines ministries from 2009-2011. The article cited a report from the auditor general’s office to parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.