March 9, 2015 / 10:34 AM / 3 years ago

Myanmar court sentences 15 to death for 2011 gang murder

YANGON (Reuters) - A Myanmar court has sentenced 15 men to death for stabbing and killing a man outside a busy restaurant in the commercial capital Yangon, a court official said on Monday, an attack that caused public outrage and led to 23 arrests.

The court in Yangon on March 5 handed down death sentences to 15 of those arrested, the court official told Reuters.

“Judgment was passed under tight security for fear of reprisal,” the official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the case.

The official declined to divulge the motive for the attack, but a lawyer familiar with the case said it was related to a dispute between criminal gangs.

Ko Kyaw Min, 32, was attacked by masked men inside a restaurant on Nov. 17, 2011. He fled into the street where another group of men stabbed him to death, according to the court official.

Those convicted have one month to appeal against their sentences, the official said.

Death sentences in Myanmar are most often commuted to life imprisonment. The last execution took place in 1988.

Writing by Jared Ferrie; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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