Myanmar Junta to Give Court Verdict Against Suu Kyi

By The Irrawaddy 9 November 2021

Verdicts against Myanmar’s detained State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for alleged violations of COVID-19 restrictions during the 2020 election campaign and sedition will be passed next month.

The 76-year-old has been under house arrest since Myanmar’s military detained her during the Feb. 1 coup. She now faces 11 charges, including possessing walkie-talkies and corruption, filed by the regime, which are widely believed to be trumped-up charges.

If found guilty, she will face up to 102 years in prison.

The Irrawaddy has learned that a judge on Tuesday set the date for the verdict for allegedly breaching COVID-19 restrictions during a community visit in Naypyitaw last year to be made in mid-December.

Charges under the Natural Disaster Management law carry up to three years in prison.

The defense filed witness lists in the case and requested Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, the detained Mandalay Region chief minister, as a witness. The court agreed.

In a separate case, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi faced the same charge for “waving” at a campaign convoy of National League for Democracy (NLD) supporters passing her residence in Naypyitaw ahead of the general election. The lawyers from both sides still need to make their final arguments in the case.

The NLD won a sweeping victory in last November’s election.

On Monday, U Win Htein, the NLD’s patron who was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment last month for high treason for criticizing the coup, testified for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at the special court in Zabuthiri, Naypyitaw.

He told the court that she acted legally and followed COVID-19 restrictions when the campaign convoy passed her residence. U Win Htein said he was present and they followed social-distancing measures.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has denied the charges.

She also faces cases under Article 505(b) of the Penal Code for sedition, Article 8 of the Export and Import Law for alleged possession of unlicensed walkie-talkies and other foreign equipment and one case under Article 67 of the Telecommunications Law.

For the sedition charge, the final arguments are to be made on Nov. 16 and the verdict is expected the week after but the Nobel Laureate will still have to appear in court to face other charges.

Sedition charges carry up to three years in prison.

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