Courtroom outburst in Utah refugee murder case halts proceedings

I had wondered what ever happened in the case of the little Burmese girl murdered in March 2008 by a fellow refugee in a Salt Lake City housing complex for refugees.  Hat tip: a friend from the UK.

Yesterday, all those assembled in the courtroom, expecting to hear the accused murderer plead guilty and be sentenced, were shocked and dismayed by his outburst in which he claimed he was innocent.

From the Salt Lake Tribune*:

A Burmese refugee accused of killing 7-year-old Hser Ner Moo two years ago angrily denied his guilt in court on Friday.

“I was forced by the authorities here to say that I did it, but I didn’t kill,” said Esar Met, according to an interpreter for the girl’s family, who translated the statement for The Tribune .

Hser Ner Moo’s family, who traveled from Iowa for Friday’s hearing, had been told Met would plead guilty and be sentenced, the interpreter said.

But when Met’s attorney told the judge they had reached a resolution in the case, Met, whose legs and hands had been shaking, shook his head to the contrary. Met then spoke passionately in Burmese, after which his attorneys requested a break so they could confer with Met.

About an hour later, 3rd District Court Judge Judith Atherton returned to the bench and defense attorney Michael Peterson said, “There are inquiries we need to make and then report back.”

I’m not surprised to learn that the little girl’s parents had moved from Salt Lake City where their lives had taken a tragic turn.  See my post of October 2008 about the family’s grief 6 months after the murder (links in here to original postings also).

Following Met’s courtroom outburst, Hser Ner Moo’s parents, Pearlly Wa and Cartoon Wah, wiped away tears. They moved to Marshalltown, Iowa, last fall, overwhelmed with frustration about the stalled case.

Met, believed to be 23 years old, is charged with aggravated murder and child kidnapping for allegedly beating, sexually assaulting and strangling the girl at his South Salt Lake City apartment on March 31, 2008.

I am assuming from this segment of the article that Hser Ner Moo did not know her killer before arriving in the US.

Esar Met and Hser Ner Moo lived in separate parts of the same refugee camp for Burmese refugees in Thailand before immigrating to the United States, where both lived at the South Parc Townhomes…

Read the whole article. There are many more details than we have seen previously.

* The Salt Lake Tribune is one of the few newspaper in the country willing to do thorough and careful reporting on the refugee resettlement program and we have cited articles from it on many occasions.  Search RRW for ‘Salt Lake City’ for many articles on the difficulties there with too many refugee.

Saudi Arabia throws out more Somalis

That bastion of Muslim charity, Saudi Arabia, has deported another 100 Somalis—they just fly them back to Mogadishu and drop them off—bringing total numbers of deported fellow Muslims into the thousands.   So where is Michael the Apologizer  Posner now?  He was busy badmouthing Arizona to the Chinese, but is surprisingly silent on Saudi Arabia.

The double standard drives me nuts! Just remember it was the UNHCR that was saying here in June of last year that the historic tradition of charity toward refugees comes from Islam!   Sorry but that is just B.S. as Saudi Arabia demonstrates AGAIN!

The United Nations refugee agency is calling on all states to stop forcibly deporting Somali asylum seekers whose lives might be in danger if they are returned home. Officials with the refugee agency say they are very concerned about Saudi Arabia’s recent deportations of Somalis.

The U.N. refugee agency says it is not safe to send Somali asylum seekers home. Agency officials say all deportations to Somalia must stop given the precarious situation in the country.


Fleming (UN Spokeswoman, Melissa Fleming) notes Saudi Arabia has not ratified the 1951 International Refugee Convention. But, she adds, this does not absolve Saudi Arabia of its international obligations to protect people in distress.


We have been undertaking a very intense diplomatic effort with Saudi Arabia,” she said. “This has not been the first deportation. In fact, this has been ongoing for several months. We are talking about numbers that could be as many as 4,000 who have been returned by Saudi Arabia over the past year.”

I repeat, where is Posner?

IOM pouring refugees into the US from Asia; still no jobs

Here we have the International Organization for Migration trumpeting that 11,000 refugees from Asia have been resettled (mostly in the US) in the first 4 months of 2010 (in the middle of the great recession).  Jobless claims continue to rise.

From IOM:

Thailand – IOM’s major Asian refugee resettlement operations in Thailand, Malaysia and Nepal resettled nearly 11,000 refugees in the first four months of 2010 – over 80 per cent of them to new homes in the United States. [That means that 8800-9000 came to the US-ed].

Of the total, some 4,550 were Bhutanese from camps in eastern Nepal, 3,900 were Karen and Karenni refugees from Myanmar from camps in northwestern Thailand, and the remaining 2,400 were refugees from Myanmar living in Malaysia.

Over the period, IOM Nepal moved 3,830 Bhutanese refugees accepted for resettlement to the US, 374 to Australia, 239 to Canada, 108 to New Zealand, 7 to the Netherlands and 2 to Denmark.

Almost all them were Bhutanese of Nepali origin, known as Lhotsampas, who have lived in camps in the Jhapa and Morang regions of Nepal for nearly two decades, following Bhutan’s decision to revoke their citizenship and expel them in the late 1980s and early 1990s.


While IOM plays no part in selecting which refugees* are accepted for resettlement, its global responsibilities in refugee resettlement include medical screening, pre-departure cultural orientation and travel arrangements.

*The United Nations picks most of our refugees.