Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will return to court next week after two hearings on criminal charges brought against her by the military junta.
Suu Kyi’s lawyer, Khin Maung Zaw, told journalists Tuesday that she and her two co-defendants, former president Win Myint and former Naypyitaw mayor Myo Aung, heard witnesses testify on charges of sedition in the first hearing. The second hearing involved charges that she violated the country’s Natural Disaster Management Law by breaking COVID-19 restrictions while campaigning during last year’s parliamentary election.
Khin Maung Zaw said the hearings have been adjourned until Monday, July 5.
The 76-year-old Suu Kyi has been detained since February 1, when her civilian government was overthrown nearly three months after her National League for Democracy party scored a landslide electoral victory. Along with violating COVID-19 restrictions, she has been accused of illegally possessing unlicensed walkie-talkies, breaching the Official Secrets Act, inciting public unrest, misusing land for her charitable foundation, and accepting illegal payments of $600,000 in cash plus 11 kilograms of gold.
Ousted president Win Myint and former Naypyitaw mayor Myo Aung are being tried alongside Suu Kyi.
Electoral fraud allegation
The junta has cited widespread electoral fraud in the November 8 election as a reason for the coup, an allegation the civilian electoral commission denied. The junta has threatened to dissolve the NLD over the allegations.
The coup triggered a crisis that led to deadly anti-junta demonstrations and clashes among several armed ethnic groups and the ruling junta.
In a campaign to quell the protests, the government has killed more than 800 protesters and bystanders since the takeover, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which tracks casualties and arrests in Myanmar.