Conflicts & War

Suu Kyi could face trial without lawyers at Myanmar Supreme Court

Bangkok, Jun 4 (EFE).- Myanmar deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, under arrest since the Feb. 1 military coup, could face trial in the Supreme Court for the alleged violation of official secrets without the presence of a lawyer, a member of her legal team said Friday.

Lawyer Khin Maung Zaw said in statements to EFE that the Supreme Court has announced a list of court hearings for Jun. 24, including that of Suu Kyi and four other people, in which the accused have to defend themselves.

“The state is represented by the attorney general’s office, but none of the defendants is represented by a lawyer. (…) They will defend themselves,” said the lawyer about this hearing related to the accusation against Suu Kyi, which carries a penalty of up to 14 years in prison.

He also said none of the defense attorneys for the five defendants, including Australian Sean Turnell, Suu Kyi’s economic adviser, have been informed of the hearing and do not know if the defendants have.

Suu Kyi, 75, faces two different processes, one the Supreme Court and another in a court in the capital where she is tried on various charges such as the illegal importation of electronic devices, the Covid-19 protocol violations and incitement of hatred.

The Nobel Peace Prize, initially under house arrest at her official residence in the capital, has been transferred to an unknown place, as revealed earlier this week by the Government of National Unity, formed by allies of Suu Kyi and self-proclaimed as a legitimate government.

According to the former leader’s lawyers, who met with her for the first time since her arrest on May 24, she has lived in isolation and without news of what is happening in the country.

Myanmar’s public television MRTV showed that day the first images of the leader since the military uprising that overthrew the democratic government of Myanmar and that has plunged the country into a situation of chaos.

The ex-president appeared in those images with a mask on the dock with deposed President Win Myint and Myo Aung, who was also arrested on the day of the coup and is being tried for various crimes.

More than 840 people have died since the coup due to the brutal repression of the security forces, according to figures from the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners, which counts more than 5,600 detainees.

The Myanmar Army justifies the coup on alleged electoral fraud in November’s elections, in which Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory, as it did in 2015, and which were considered legitimate by international observers. EFE


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