Judge tells Suu Kyi to ‘wait patiently’ for in-person meeting with her lawyers 

Detained State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi once again called for an in-person meeting with her lawyers during a hearing held via video link at a court in Naypyitaw on Monday, her lawyer said. 

The judge at the Zabuthiri court asked a police official during the hearing about arrangements for a meeting but the official was unable to respond, said Khin Maung Zaw, a member of Suu Kyi’s defence team. 

“He said the police force had submitted the request to the ‘upper level’ but is yet to receive an order,” he told reporters after the hearing. “The judge asked which level was reviewing the request and what the situation was but the official responded that he couldn’t answer.”

“The judge suggested the lawyers and their clients wait for the order patiently,” he added.

Suu Kyi faces a total of six charges; five in Naypyitaw and one in Yangon, and a prison sentence of up to 26 years. 

She has been accused of importing walkie-talkies in violation of the Export and Import Law, of incitement, and of violating the Official Secrets Act and the Telecommunication Law.

The regime also hit both Suu Kyi and detained President Win Myint with a charge of violating Covid-19 protocols while campaigning in last year’s election.

At Monday’s hearing, cases for Win Myint and detained Naypyitaw mayor Myo Aung, who has been charged with incitement, were also heard. Both men have also been denied in-person meetings with their lawyers.  

Suu Kyi seemed to be in good health but looked thinner than she used to be, Khin Maung Zaw said. The next hearing is scheduled for May 10.

The military council’s spokesperson, Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun, was quoted by the Russian state-owned news agency RIA over the weekend saying the junta had decided not to allow Suu Kyi to meet her lawyers in person for the time being.

The main reasons, Zaw Min Tun said, were national security and the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the military had received information that some protest leaders have plans to contact Suu Kyi through her lawyers. 

“Behind her lawyers’ demand there could be other reasons. They might conduct illegal communications and ask for her direction [for the protests],” Zaw Min Tun said in the interview.


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