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news in the Indian paper (r)
Briton Jailed in Burma for 5 Years, Fined $8,000.
The Asian Age
16 May 1998
Rangoon, May 15: A British-Australia national, convicted of illegal entry
and suspected of "terrorist" activities, was sentenced to five years in
prison by a Burma court on Friday.
In addition to the five-year term, the maximum penalty for the offence,
James Rupert Russel Mawdsley, 25, was fined $7,812 by the divisional court
at Rangoon's Insein prison.
The court said Mawdsley had 90 days to lodge an appeal on compassionate
grounds, and that if he fails to pay the fine a further 15 months would be
added to his sentence. A legal advisor to the Australian and British
embassies in Rangoon said Mawdsley could appeal to the high court, where
legal council could be provided.
Mawdsley, who is also suspected by Burmese authorities of "terrorist"
activities, pleaded guilty at a trial inside the Insein prison compound on
Wednesday to charges of illegal entry. The dual British-Australian citizen
entered the guilty plea after being charged with violating Burma's
Emergency Provisions Immigrations Act, sources and witnesses at the trial
said. A British embassy spokesperson said it was not clear why Mawdsley
had been handed out the stiffest possible penalty for a case of illegal
entry, but said the judge had raised earlier accusations of terrorism
during the sentencing. "The judge did not make any specific comment on why
he had given him the most severe sentences," the spokesman said.(AFP)
Burma Info (CCN)