Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been hit by criminal charges one after another, appeared in person in court for a second time on Monday in the coup-hit country’s capital Naypyitaw.
Her lawyers said the five cases being dealt with by the Naypyitaw court will enter the full-scale trial phase next week, and verdicts could be handed down as early as August.
Suu Kyi has been prosecuted for six offenses, among which five minor ones — such as the illegal import of walkie-talkies and violation of coronavirus restrictions — are being collectively tried at the special court.
The sixth and most serious charge is for leaking state secrets, a felony punishable by up to 14 years in prison. That case will be tried separately in the capital.
The Naypyitaw court has not conducted any substantive hearings so far, but they are expected to start in earnest on June 14 and wrap up by July 26.
The specific date for handing down the verdicts is undecided, but Khin Maung Zaw, leader of the defense lawyers team, said it could happen as early as mid-August if things proceed smoothly.
But he added that everything might not go as planned. For example, if either side raises objections, a higher court might get involved, he said.
Another defense lawyer, Min Min Soe, who also met Suu Kyi on Monday morning with other lawyers, said she asked them to arrange some money for herself, her staff and their family members who are living with her to purchase items such as food and medicine.
She was said to be living with eight people, as well her pet dog, in an undisclosed location.
Suu Kyi has told her lawyers that she and the people living with her were moved out from her former residence in the capital one day before she made her first physical appearance in court on May 24.
Source: United News of Bangladesh