First verdicts against Aung San Suu Kyi postponed until Monday  

A Naypyitaw court on Tuesday postponed the first two verdicts that were due to be handed down to detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi after months of hearings, with the rulings now due on Monday next week, court sources told Myanmar Now. 

Judge Maung Maung Lwin was due to hand down verdicts to the ousted State Counsellor relating to one charge of inciting public unrest and another of violating Covid-19 restrictions during last year’s election campaign. 

He did not give a reason for the postponement. 

The first offence, under Section 505b of the Penal Code, carries a maximum two-year prison sentence and relates to statements against the junta released by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) after she was detained in the February 1 coup.

The second charge was brought under Section 25 of the Natural Disaster Management Law and carries a prison sentence of up to three years. Suu Kyi faces a total sentence of several decades under these and nine other charges. 

Ousted President Win Myint and Naypyitaw Mayor Myo Aung have also been charged in relation to the two NLD statements denouncing the coup regime.

Closed-door hearings for Suu Kyi, 76, and Win Myint, 70, have been held at a specially designated court in Zabuthiri Township over the past several months.

The regime has barred all five of Suu Kyi’s lawyers from speaking publicly about the cases against their clients, saying that it could create “a disturbance of the public tranquility.”

Suu Kyi is also accused of breaking the Official Secrets Act, the Import and Export Law, the Telecommunications Law, and of corruption.  

The junta announced earlier this month that it plans to prosecute 16 people for electoral fraud, including Suu Kyi, Win Myint, Myo Aung, and NLD vice chair Zaw Myint Maung, who is also under detention. 

At Tuesday’s hearing, Suu Kyi’s defence team asked the judge to issue a fresh summons to Zaw Myint Maung, who is also the ousted chief minister for Mandalay, to testify on behalf of Suu Kyi in a second case related to breaches of Covid-19 rules, court sources said.

Zaw Myint Maung’s lawyers have said he is fit to travel to Naypyitaw, Suu Kyi’s defence team told the court, but he was last week denied permission to make the journey to the court from Mandalay on the grounds that he is in poor health. 

The judge last week reportedly showed the defence team a medical certificate saying that Zaw Myint Maung was suffering from “various diseases so he should not be allowed to travel.” 

Defence lawyers on Tuesday requested that the summons be delivered directly to Zaw Myint Maung. The judge will make a ruling on the request on Monday, the sources said.


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