| 25 May 2024, Saturday |

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi expected to appear in court soon

Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi is expected to attend her next court hearing in person, her chief lawyer said on Monday, after weeks of stalled virtual proceedings over charges her supporters say are fabricated.

Since her arrest hours before a Feb. 1 military coup, Suu Kyi has been held at her residence in Naypyitaw and faces numerous, mostly minor charges filed in two courts, the most serious under a colonial-era official secrets act, punishable by 14 years in prison.

“The presiding judge declared that by the instruction of the Union Supreme Court, the cases were to be heard in person, not virtually by video conferencing,” her legal team head, Khin Maung Zaw, said in a text message, referring to Monday’s hearing.

He said the judge “told us that the problem will eventually be solved”, and that Suu Kyi asked what the judge meant by “eventually”.

Suu Kyi, 75, has been permitted to speak with lawyers only via a video link in the presence of security personnel. Her co-defendant is Win Myint, the ousted president.

Her lawyers have said they have discussed with Suu Kyi only her legal case and do not know the extent to which she is aware of the crisis in her country.

Khin Maung Zaw said his team was seeking access to Suu Kyi before the next hearing on May 24, without interference of others.

He said he reminded the judge “that it is the undeniable right of the defendants to meet and give instructions to the defense counsel in a private meeting”.

  • Reuters