Myanmar court due to deliver first verdicts in Suu Kyi trial

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Aung San Suu Kyi could face up to five years in prison if found guilty of abetting and violating COVID-19 regulations.

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A Myanmar court is expected to deliver the first verdict in a series of trials for the country’s ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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The decisions on Monday pertain to allegations of abetment and violation of the COVID-19 protocol.

If convicted, Aung San Suu Kyi and her co-defendant, Myanmar’s ousted President Win Myint, each face up to five years in prison.

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The decision was to be announced last week, but was postponed.

The cases are among a dozen cases filed against the Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Other charges include multiple charges of corruption, violation of a State Secrets Act, and a telecommunications law that carries a combined maximum sentence of more than a century in prison.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained by generals on February 1 for taking control of the country, denies all charges.

Supporters of the 76-year-old leader say the cases are baseless and designed to end his political career and tie him to legal proceedings while the military wields power.

The military says Aung San Suu Kyi is being given due process by an independent court headed by a judge appointed by her administration.

The trial in the capital Naypyidaw has been closed to the media, and the military’s public information outlet has not mentioned the proceedings.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers have been barred from communicating with the media and the public.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since February’s coup, crippled by protests and instability, which escalated after the military’s deadly crackdown on its opponents, whom it calls “terrorists”.

The international community has condemned the violence, and Western states have called for Aung San Suu Kyi’s release.

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