Naypyitaw (Myanmar): Myanmar’s military junta will begin presenting its case against deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi in court next Monday. This information was given by lawyers of Suu Kyi here, Tuesday. The military arrested Suu Kyi in February when it overthrew her elected government. Public resistance to the coup remains strong and in recent months has taken the form of a low-level armed insurrection.
Government prosecutors will have until June 28 to finish their presentation in the court here, the capital, where Suu Kyi is being tried on five charges. Then Suu Kyi’s defense team will have until July 26 to present its case, said Khin Maung Zaw, the team’s senior member.
Court sessions are to be held Monday and Tuesday each week.
Zaw spoke to journalists after a procedural hearing Monday for Suu Kyi and two fellow defendants. They are ousted President Win Myint and former Naypyitaw Mayor Myo Aung.
Suu Kyi’s supporters say the charges against her are politically motivated. They are meant to discredit her and legitimise the military’s takeover. If convicted of any of the offenses, she could be banned from running in an election promised by the junta within one or two years of its takeover.
Also read: Myanmar coup: Opposition forms shadow government with Suu Kyi’s ousted cabinet
Suu Kyi and her two co-defendants are charged with spreading information that could cause public alarm or unrest. She also faces two counts of violating the Natural Disaster Management Law for allegedly breaking Covid-19 pandemic restrictions during the 2020 election campaign. The charges are illegally importing walkie-talkies that were for her bodyguards’ use; and unlicensed use of the radios.
A sixth charge that Suu Kyi faces is the most serious one. It is the breaching the colonial-era Official Secrets Act and carries a penalty of up to 14 years’ imprisonment. It has been handled separately from the other charges and was filed in a court in Yangon. It was recently transferred to the Union Supreme Court in Naypyitaw, said San Mar La Nyunt, another of her lawyers.
Another of her lawyers, Min Min Soe, said that when they met with her, she asked them if they could help pay for her food expenses. This is because her cash resources were low and she did not want to rely on being fed by her captors.
Leave a Reply