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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Criminal Hearings Resume for Myanmar's Deposed Civilian Leader

By VOA News July 12, 2021

Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar's now-defunct civilian government, was back in a courtroom in the capital Naypyidaw Monday for a new round of hearings on corruption-related charges brought against her by the military junta that ousted her from power.

Defense attorney Khin Maung Zaw told VOA Burmese Service that Suu Kyi faced three separate hearings on charges of violating the country's natural disaster, communications and export-import laws respectively.

During the final hearing, he said it was discovered during cross-examination of the army officer who led the raid on Suu Kyi's house that he did not have a search warrant to conduct the operation. Six unregistered and illegally imported walkie-talkie radios were allegedly found in a search of her home in Naypyitaw.

A hearing was also held Monday on charges brought against ousted President U Win Myint for violating the Disaster Management Law.

The attorney said both Suu Kyi and U Win Myint appeared to be "in good physical condition" when their lawyers met with them before Monday's proceedings. He said Suu Kyi "voiced her grave concern" over the latest surge of COVID-19 infections in Myanmar, while U Win Myint also expressed his worries about the surge and passed on "his wishes for the people."

The hearings will resume next week.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate, has been detained since February 1, when her civilian government was overthrown nearly three months after her National League for Democracy party scored a landslide victory in the elections.

The junta has cited widespread electoral fraud in the November 8 election as a reason for the coup, an allegation the civilian electoral commission denied. The junta has threatened to dissolve the NLD over the allegations.

The coup triggered a crisis in the Southeast Asian country that led to deadly anti-junta demonstrations and clashes between several armed ethnic groups and the ruling junta.

In a campaign to quell the protests, the government has killed more than 800 protesters and bystanders since the takeover, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a rights group tracking casualties and arrests in Myanmar.

VOA's Burmese Service contributed to this report.

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