Confessions made by five of the accused in the trial of U Saw, former Burmese Premier, and eight members of his “Galon” Army charged with the assassination of U Aung San and other Burmese Ministers in July, were read before the special tribunal here today when it resumed hearing of the case.

Two of the accused. Maung Sein and Yan Gyi Aung, admitted in confessions stated to have been made before the Rangoon Magistrate that they, together with two others of the alleged assassins on trial, entered the Council Chamber on July 19 and shot Aung San and his six Cabinet colleagues. They declared that they were carrying out the orders of their leader U Saw.

Twenty-five-year-old Maung Sein said that he used a tommy-gun in the attack and opened fire on everyone seated around the table in the Council Room.

Yan Gyi Aung, who is 18 said he knelt down on the floor and turned his sten-gun on the Cabinet Ministers who had thrown themselves under the conference table.

He and some of the other accused, he declared, had had six months target practice at U Saw’s residence. They had practised using various types of fire-arms.

When the party left for the Secretariat building on July 19 U Saw, he declared, wished them “good luck” in English.

Earlier Attempt

Twenty-two-year-old Khin Maung Yin, a relative of U Saw, gave in his confession details of an alleged earlier attempt by the Myochit leader to assassinate Aung San. This, he said was in February last after the Burmese statesman returned from London with the Aung San-Attlee Agreement.

U Saw had ordered the accused to shoot Aung San on his way to attend a reception at the residence of the General Officer Commanding Burma Command, he declared. The accused, however, felt disinclined to commit the murder and told U Saw that Aung San did not attend the function.

Accused Accept Confessions

In the July assassinations, he said, his job was to inform U Saw by telephone about the meeting of the Executive Council. This time he followed U Saw’s instructions and telephoned U Saw immediately after the Cabinet session began.

Khin Maung Yin also alleged that four British Army officers had been supplying U Saw with arms and ammunition.

The confessions of two other accused–one who drove the jeep used by the gun-men- and the other who kept watch at the Secretariat gate were also read in court. All-five accused accepted the confessions as truthful. They were not cross-examined today.

Track Of Law And Order

A clash between the Crown Counsel, U Tun Byu and Defence Counsel, Mr B. R. Vertannes, marked today’s proceedings. Mr Vertannes alleged that terrorism was widespread in Rangoon before the assassinations and accused the police of indifference regarding various murders and attempted murders in the city until the Ministerial murders took place. Mr Vertannes said he was “trying to prove that political murder and terrorism was prevalent in Rangoon at that time. There were political organizations opposed to the anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League and it would have been easy for anybody to commit murder because of the lack of law and order in the city.” In reply to the Crown Counsel, U Tun Hla Aung, C.I.D. Chief, revealed that 800 people were arrested after the assassinations and more than 50 per cent of them had since been released.

By Shadab

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