Burma

No Evidence for Myanmar Junta’s Charges Against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi: Lawyer

By The Irrawaddy 22 June 2021

There is no evidence to support the charges against detained Myanmar leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, one of her lawyers said. Trials have begun in five of the cases brought against her by the military since its Feb. 1 coup, which include possession of illegally imported walkie-talkies, breaching COVID-19 restrictions and sedition.

The State Counselor discusses her defense strategy for each case with her legal team prior to the trial hearings and “gives us all the necessary instructions,” said U Kyi Win, a member of the legal team

U Kyi Win is defending Daw Aung San Suu Kyi against two charges involving alleged possession of illegally imported walkie-talkies, which is an offense under Article 8 of the Export and Import Law, and Article 67 of the Telecommunications Law.

The prosecution has been presenting evidence in those cases since June 14; the cases continue to be heard each Monday.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested in the early hours of Feb. 1. Two days later police accused her of “illegally importing and using radio transmitting and receiving equipment” at her residence in Naypyitaw. Thus she is accused of breaching the Export and Import Law, which bans the importing of restricted items without permission. The devices are widely available on the market in Myanmar.

The police said in February that nine ICOM communication devices used by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s security team were found during a search conducted by a team from the Commander-in-Chief’s Office (Army) on Feb. 1.

“These devices were not seized from Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, as she had been in detention since 3 a.m. on Feb. 1. The evidence was collected after 6 a.m. on that day, from a total of 10 people: a personal assistant and the security team. All of them are staff of the Ministry of Home Affairs. [Based on these facts] a through cross-examination was conducted [by the defense],” U Kyi Win said, discussing last week’s testimony.

He added that the defendant is “not guilty of any of these accusations.”

Ten witnesses are scheduled to testify in the two cases, and the legal team expects both cases to be completed at the same time.

The legal team representing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was not able to hold its first meeting with her until late May, nearly four months after she was placed under house arrest.

Another member of the legal team, lawyer Daw Min Min Soe, said the State Counselor paid attention and “listened with interest throughout every court hearing in each case”, and told her lawyers “which testimony was false and how she wants them to defend” her.

On Monday, prosecution witnesses also testified at Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint’s trials on charges of violating Article 25 of the Natural Disaster Management Law.

The defense objected to documents submitted to the court by the prosecution, but the special court in Naypyitaw’s Zabu Thiri Township accepted all documents, including photos.

The defense lawyers declined to provide details of their objections on Monday, however.

Last Tuesday, the legal team also objected to evidence presented at court hearings in Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s trials for allegedly violating COVID-19 restrictions and the sedition law, on grounds of authenticity and relevance.

Both trials continue on Tuesday.


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