Conflicts & War

Deposed Myanmar leader Suu Kyi still unable to meet lawyers

Bangkok, Apr 26 (EFE).- Myanmar’s military junta continues to deny deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi a meeting with her lawyers, her legal representatives said Monday after a court hearing in which she appeared online.

Suu Kyi, under house arrest since the Feb. 1 coup, faces several trials on charges such as importing electronic devices or revealing official secrets without being able to meet with her team of lawyers, despite having requested it on several occasions.

One of her legal representatives, Khin Maung Zaw, told EFE that during the Monday hearing in Naypyitaw the judge asked a policeman if he had told his superiors about the request for Suu Kyi and deposed President Win Myint to meet with their defense teams.

The agent said he had done so, but had not received a response, Zaw said in a message.

Suu Kyi and her lawyer present in the courtroom repeated the request to hold the meeting with the defense and the judge postponed the hearing until May 10.

Neither Suu Kyi nor Win Myint, also on trial before the same court, have been able to meet their lawyers since they were arrested on the day of the coup, along with much of the former cabinet.

Authorities have filed six charges against Suu Kyi, who has also been accused of corruption by the military, although this complaint has not yet been formalized by a court.

The most serious charge brought against the ousted leader, who her lawyer said “appears to be in good health,” is that of violating the Official Secrets Law, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

Suu Kyi, 75, also faces several crimes such as illegally importing walkie-talkies, violating Covid-19 pandemic regulations and threatening national security.

The accusations have been strongly rejected by the lawyers of Suu Kyi, who spent 15 years under house arrest during the previous period of military dictatorship (1962-2011.)

The process against Suu Kyi and other members of the elected government is taking place amid protests that have been violently repressed by security forces, causing more than 750 deaths and leading to the detention of more than 3,400 people since Feb. 1.

On Saturday, the head of the junta, coupmaker Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, attended a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta, where he pledged to curb violence against civilians and accept a mediator to solve the crisis.

Myanmar protests continued Monday against the coup plotters and in favor of the release of the detainees in various cities of the country, where they expressed their support for the alternative government of national unity made up of Democrats.

The Myanmar Army justifies the coup on alleged electoral fraud in November’s elections, in which Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory and which were considered legitimate by international observers. EFE

grc/lds

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