Suu Kyi hit with second charge of breaching Covid-19 rules 

Myanmar’s ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi was hit with a second charge of breaching Covid-19 restrictions at a court in Naypyitaw on Monday.

The Zabuthiri township court accepted the charge under section 25 of the Natural Disaster Management Law, which carries a sentence of up to three years in prison.

Suu Kyi is accused of violating the ban on gatherings of more than 30 people in August while visiting members of her party in Naypyitaw. She now faces a total of six charges and a prison sentence of up to 26 years.

The plaintiff in the case is named Nyi Nyi but also known as Tun Myint Aung, defense lawyer Min Min Soe told Myanmar Now. Nyi Nyi sent a letter of complaint about Suu Kyi’s meeting with the party members to the health ministry last year. 

The regime has already hit both Suu Kyi and ousted President Win Myint with a charge of violating Covid-19 restrictions while campaigning in last year’s election.

Suu Kyi has also 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. 

Her next hearing is scheduled for April 26.

The Official Secrets Act charge, filed in Yangon on March 25, carries a penalty of up to 14 years in prison. It criminalises the possession, collection, recording, publishing, or sharing of state information that is “directly or indirectly useful to an enemy.”

Three lawyers — Khin Maung Zaw, Kyi Win, and San Marlar Nyunt — have now been granted power of attorneys so they can defend Suu Kyi in Yangon, Min Min Soe said.

At Monday’s hearing, cases for detained Naypyitaw mayor Myo Aung and Win Myint were also heard. 

Myo Aung, who is also a member of the NLD’s central executive committee, was charged under 505b of the Penal Code, which criminalises “any statement, rumour or report” that may induce the public to “commit an offence against the state.”

All three defendants appeared healthy during the hearing, which was held via video call, and asked the judge for in-person meetings with their lawyers, Min Min Soe said.

On March 17, the military council announced that it was planning to bring corruption charges against Suu Kyi. 

The same month, state television broadcast allegations of bribery against Suu Kyi by ousted Yangon chief minister Phyo Min Thein and businessman Maung Weik, a military crony who was convicted of drug trafficking in 2008. 


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