Final arguments will be heard at the Kamaryut township court in Yangon, Myanmar, on Tuesday in the court case involving Ross Dunkley, co-founder of The Myanmar Times and publisher of The Phnom Penh Post, the presiding judge said yesterday.
The court heard testimonies yesterday given by Dunkley’s housekeeper, Tin Tin, 47, and his gardener and gate-keeper, Tu Tu, 40. The witnesses were questioned about allegations made against Dunkley, 53, by a 29-year-old Myanmar woman who alleged that she had been held against her will at his house between January 16 and 18.
Tin Tin, who said she had worked for Dunkley for nine years, said no other woman had been present when she cleaned the house between January 16 and 18.
Tu Tu said Dunkley had arrived home with the woman at about midnight on January 18, but that he had left in his car with the woman after about 15 minutes and returned home alone about 15 minutes later.
At a hearing held on June 14, a prosecuting lawyer questioned Dunkley and Zaw Myint, 45, the editor of the Myanmar edition of The Myanmar Times.
Testifying on June 14, Dunkley said he had first met the woman on the evening of January 18. He denied meeting her on the evening of January 16 and holding her at his home against her will until the 18th. Dunkley also denied having assaulted her.
Dunkley also said that he had not supplied drugs to the woman and that there were no drugs in his home.
Zaw Myint also said during the June 14 hearing that Dunkley was in his office at The Myanmar Times on January 17 and 18 and that the two had attended meetings together in Dunkley’s office on both days.
A request submitted by the woman in February to withdraw her charges against Dunkley was accepted by the judge on May 12, after it had been initially denied.
At the time of Dunkley’s arrest, David Armstrong, chairman of Phnom Penh Post publisher Post Media Ltd, said the incident “coincides with tense and protracted discussions Mr Dunkley and the foreign
ownership partners in the Myanmar Times have been conducting with local partners about the future direction of the publishing group”.
However, Tin Tun Oo, the CEO of Myanmar Times parent company Myanmar Consolidated Media, and U Wai Linn, the chief operating officer, have since put up a surety for Dunkley’s bail, and the Australian was released from prison on March 29.