"Get Wa Lone." That was the directive a Myanmar police captain was given by his superior, or so he testified Friday. Wa Lone is the Reuters reporter who, along with colleague Kyaw Soe Oo, was arrested Dec. 12 and has been jailed since. Police accused the pair of violating the colonial-era Official Secrets Act by acquiring "important secret papers" from two policemen, and Reuters reports Police Captain Moe Yan Naing—a witness for the prosecution—now says it was a "trap." The AP sees it as a "setback" for the prosecution. Reuters reports his testimony came during hearings that have now been underway since January regarding whether to charge the men, who had been investigating for Reuters the massacre of Rohingya men and boys in a village, with violating the act.
Moe Yan Naing testified that he had been interviewed by Wa Lone in November, and that on Dec. 12 he himself was interrogated over that interview and then learned the plot to seize Lone was to take place that night. Police Brigadier Tin Ko Ko gave "secret documents" to Police Lance Corporal Naing Lin, says Moe Yan Naing, "and told him to give them to Wa Lone and said that when Wa Lone comes out of the restaurant, the Htaunt Kyant regional police force has to entrap him and arrest him." He says the police brigadier general told them, "If you don't get Wa Lone, you will go to jail." Reuters says the reporters have said they were invited to dinner by two policemen they hadn't interviewed, were handed rolled up papers by them and summarily arrested.