Bangkok: A court in military-ruled Myanmar postponed its verdicts Monday on two charges against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. In the charges Aung San Suu Kyi is accused of importing and possessing walkie-talkies without following official procedures, a legal official familiar with the case said.
The case in the court in the capital, Naypyitaw, is among many brought against the 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate since the army seized power February 1. It ousted Suu Kyi’s elected government and arresting top members of her National League for Democracy party.
The court gave no reason for delaying the verdicts until January 10, according to the legal official, who insisted on anonymity for fear of being punished by the authorities, who have restricted the release of information about Suu Kyi’s trials.
The party of Suu Kyi won a landslide victory in last year’s general elections. However, the military said there was widespread electoral fraud, an assertion that independent poll watchers doubt.
Suu Kyi’s supporters and independent analysts say all the charges against her are politically motivated. It is an attempt to discredit her and legitimize the military’s seizure of power while keeping her from returning to politics. If found guilty of all the charges she faces, Suu Kyi could be sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.
Suu Kyi was convicted December 6 on two other charges. They are incitement and breaching Covid-19 restrictions. She was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment. Hours after the sentence was issued, the head of the military-installed government, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, reduced it by half. She is being held by the military at an unknown location and state television reported that she would serve her sentence there.
Suu Kyi has been attending court hearings in prison clothes — a white top and a brown longyi skirt provided by the authorities. The hearings are closed to the media and spectators and the prosecutors do not comment. Her lawyers, who had been a source of information on the proceedings, were served with gag orders in October.
A charge under the Export-Import Law of having improperly imported the walkies-talkies was the first filed against Suu Kyi and served as the initial justification for her continued detention. A second charge of illegally possessing the radios was filed the following month.
The radios were seized from the gate of her residence and the barracks of her bodyguards during a search February 1, the day she was arrested. Suu Kyi’s lawyers argued that the radios were not in her personal possession and were legitimately used to help provide for her security, but the court declined to dismiss the charges.
Suu Kyi is also being tried in the same court on five counts of corruption. The maximum penalty for each count is 15 years in prison and a fine. A sixth corruption charge, in which Suu Kyi and ousted President Win Myint are accused of granting permits to rent and buy a helicopter, has not yet gone to trial. In separate proceedings, she is accused of violating the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum term of 14 years.