YANGON — Myanmar’s coup leaders have accused Australian economic adviser Professor Sean Turnell of trying to flee the country with secret financial information following the Feb. 1 military takeover.
After being detained by the military regime for more than a month, the military-controlled MRTV broadcaster on Monday said: “An attempt to flee the country by the former government’s foreign economic adviser, Sean Turnell, was stopped in time and secret state financial information was found through him.
“Union-level ministers are taking legal action,” the announcement said.
The junta’s claim came one day after the Australian government suspended its defense cooperation program with Myanmar due to concerns over the escalating violence and rising death toll.
Australia has repeatedly called for the release of Turnell and nobody knows his whereabouts since he was detained by the military on Feb. 6. Turnell served as one of the top economic advisers to State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for several years.
The Australian media reported that Turnell had a chance to speak to his wife, Dr. Ha Vu, an economics lecturer in Sydney, last week. He told her he was being treated well but he still did not know what charges he would face.
The military regime detained ministers and their deputies from the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry and other civilian-controlled ministries and the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar.
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