Supreme court intervenes in official secrets case against Suu Kyi 

The junta-controlled supreme court has taken over the Official Secrets Act case against ousted State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, her economic advisor, and three of her cabinet members.

A member of Suu Kyi’s defence team said after a hearing at Yangon’s eastern district court–held via video link on Thursday–that the judge did not explain the reason for the intervention from the nation’s highest court.

“The case file is no longer at the eastern district court. So the judge couldn’t proceed with anything and only gave us the schedule for the next hearing,” said lawyer San Marlar Nyunt.

Suu Kyi faces a 14 year prison sentence under a section of the 1923 law that bans the possession, collection, recording, publishing, or sharing of state information that is “useful to an enemy.”

Her former planning and finance minister Kyaw Win, his successor Soe Win, and deputy minister Set Aung face the same charge, as does the Australian economic advisor Sean Turnell

San Marlar Nyunt said she expected to find out why the supreme court stepped in at the next hearing on June 3. “The supreme court can ask for a case file… if it is an unusual case. They have the right,” she said.

The defence team has been called to the eastern district court in Yangon again for the hearing, but they are still unsure if the case will actually be heard at that court, she added.

The lawyers were not present on Thursday as Suu Kyi spoke via video link, but the judge showed them a recording. In it, Suu Kyi once again requested an in-person meeting with her five-member defence team.

The 75-year-old faces five other charges in Naypyitaw and a total prison sentence of up to 26 years.

Besides the Official Secret Act charge, she has been accused of importing walkie-talkies in violation of the Export and Import Law, of incitement, and of violating the Telecommunication Law.

The regime also hit her with two charges of breaking Covid-19 rules while campaigning in last year’s election.

Suu Kyi has not been allowed to meet with her lawyers in person since she was detained on February 1, when the military toppled her government.

Next week she is due to finally get the chance for a meeting, though not a private one, after almost four months in detention. 

A judge told defence lawyers in Naypyitaw earlier this month that Suu Kyi’s hearing this coming Monday will be held near her residence, where she is being kept under house arrest, rather than via video call. 


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