Trial of ousted Myanmar leader Suu Kyi begins
Published: 04:58 PM, 14 June 2021
Aung San Suu Kyi; Photo: Collected
The trial of Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on five charges of smuggling state secrets, illegally possessing and using walkie-talkies, accepting bribes while in power, illegally acquiring land in the name of her charity and handling the Covid-19 situation has begun.
The trial began on Monday in a court in the Myanmar capital, Naypyitaw, according to The Guardian, citing the country’s national media.
Myanmar’s military took over the power through a military coup on February 1 by putting the elected leader Suu Kyi under house arrest. Since then, Myanmar has seen protests almost daily demanding her release and the restoration of democracy. More than 850 people have been killed so far in the protests by the country’s security forces.
Myanmar’s junta has brought several allegations against Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi, including corruption. One of the allegations is the violation of the Official Secrets Act of the colonial period, starting with illegally accepting 11-kg of gold. Suu Kyi’s legal team will cross-examine witnesses in the trial, which is set to begin on Monday, on charges of illegally possessing walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions during last year’s election.
Suu Kyi’s lawyers expect the trial to be completed on July 28. Complaints against Suu Kyi will be heard in court every Monday. The 75-year-old leader could face up to a “decade in prison” if all military government allegations against Suu Kyi are proven in court.
Suu Kyi’s lawyers were only allowed to see her twice. “We are hoping for something better, however, our preparation is not good,” Suu Kyi’s lawyer Khin Maung Zaw told AFP.
The trial of sedition case agasint ousted President Win Myint, Suu Kyi and several senior leaders of her party National League for Democracy (NLD) is set to begin on Tuesday.
Democrat leader Suu Kyi was under house arrest for more than 15 years under the then-military government before her release in 2010.