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Burmese Court Charges US Citizen With Fraud

Burmese Court Charges US Citizen With Fraud

Burmese Court Charges US Citizen With Fraud

A Burmese court has charged an American citizen with fraud and forgery more than a month after arresting him on suspicion of inciting unrest.

Lawyers for Burmese-born American Kyaw Zaw Lwin say he appeared in the court Wednesday to hear the charges, which carry a maximum sentence of 14 years. The court is located in Rangoon's Insein prison.

Kyaw Zaw Lwin was arrested on September 3 on arrival at Rangoon airport. Burma's military rulers initially accused him of plotting to incite protests by Buddhist monks and of having contact with dissident groups who planned to set off bombs.

But, the Rangoon court made no mention of such allegations Wednesday. Instead, it charged him with fraud and forgery for allegedly carrying fake identification.

Kyaw Zaw Lwin's lawyers say his trial will begin on October 23.

The lawyers also represent Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained for 14 of the past 20 years.

The detained American has accused Burmese authorities of physically abusing him in custody. The U.S. Embassy in Rangoon has filed a complaint with Burmese authorities about the alleged abuse.

Burmese dissident groups say relatives of Kyaw Zaw Lwin, including his mother, have been jailed in Burma for pro-democracy activities.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.