A third suspect has been arrested in connection with the grisly murder of a Monywa-based reporter for Eleven Media.
On January 2, police arrested a driver, according to Captain Thein Swe Myint from the Monywa Myoma Police Station.
Few further details were released about the third suspect and how he may have been related to the case. The suspect’s name is so far being withheld.
“[The third suspect] is a driver. He is now under interrogation after being remanded. The remand for the two suspects who were previously arrested has been extended and they are also under interrogation,” Pol Cap Thein Swe Myint said yesterday.
The manager and supervisor from Blue Sky KTV were arrested on December 19. They were reportedly among the last people to have had phone contact with Ko Soe Moe Tun the day before his body was discovered on the side of a road near a golf course on December 13.
Police believe Ko Soe Moe Tun was beaten to death in a premeditated attack after an autopsy report revealed his skull had been fractured and that he died from blood clotting. A wooden stick was found near the crime site.
The two KTV suspects had arranged for bail, but another remand was obtained for further interrogations, with their detention now extending until January 16, according to the police captain.
Ko Soe Moe Tun’s family feels certain that his murder was retribution related to reporting work. Before his death, the Sagaing-based journalist covered timber smuggling and KTVs that doubled as brothels. The 35-year-old journalist had joined Eleven Media Group in January 2015 and covered Monywa and the surrounding areas.
Various organisations, including the Eleven Media Group, have called on the investigation team to swiftly arrest and punish the murderers to ensure that attacks on journalists are not carried out with impunity. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least four Myanmar journalists have been murdered with impunity since 1999.
“It will be good for both sides if the case is settled as soon as possible. The bereft wife will want to know right away who murdered her husband. For the suspects, if they are not guilty, they will suffer damage. If they are really guilty, there is nothing to say. That’s why a quick settlement of this case will be good for both sides,” a high court lawyer from Monywa said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The case is being handled by a special investigation team comprised of officials from Monywa Myoma Police Station, the district police station and the Central Investigation Department. Police investigating under section 302 of the penal code for murder.