Swe Win, the Chief Editor of Myanmar Now News Agency, was last week charged with defaming firebrand monk, Wirathu after a case was filed months earlier by one of the monk’s followers, Kyaw Shwe.

The trial of the veteran Myanmar journalist took a bizarre turn after the plaintiff, a Buddhist ultranationalist was arrested.

He was arrested outside the court for taking part in an anti-government protest, local media reported.

As the reporter was set to appear in court in Mandalay, Kyaw Shwe was detained, forcing the judge to adjourn proceedings for the day, local news website Frontier reported.

Local police had reportedly issued a warrant for Kyaw Shwe’s arrest on Saturday after he participated in a nationalist protest in Mandalay over the weekend.

The protest was to call on the government to step down for failing to protect the country’s Buddhist faith.

The protest turned violent and several demonstrators were arrested.

Myanmar authorities are struggling to tackle a powerful Buddhist nationalist movement that has grown in strength in recent years and favours the country’s former military rulers.