Myanmar’s Suu Kyi makes first in-person court appearance

BANGKOK — Myanmar’s ousted chief, Aung San Suu Kyi, appeared in court in particular person Monday for the first time for the reason that army arrested her when it seized energy on Feb. 1.

One of her legal professionals, Min Min Soe, informed The Associated Press by cellphone that Suu Kyi was capable of meet along with her protection crew for about half-hour earlier than the listening to started at a particular court arrange inside town council constructing in Naypyitaw, the capital.

The legal professionals additionally met with Win Myint, who was president of the federal government Suu Kyi led as state counsellor and faces a few of the similar fees.

Suu Kyi’s solely earlier court appearances have been by video hyperlink and she or he had not been allowed to satisfy in particular person with any of her legal professionals.

Min Min Soe mentioned Suu Kyi wished to inform Myanmar’s those who her National League for Democracy occasion will stand by them.

She mentioned that “since the NLD was founded for the people, the NLD will exist as long as the people exist,” Min Min Soe mentioned after the listening to. She seemed to be referring to the ruling junta’s menace to dissolve the occasion.

Khin Maung Zaw, head of Suu Kyi’s authorized crew, mentioned “she seems fit and alert and smart, as always.”

“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is always confident in herself and she is confident in her cause and confident in the people,” he mentioned, utilizing an honorific for a revered older lady.

Monday’s listening to involved a number of of the six fees Suu Kyi faces and was largely procedural.

There are two counts of violating the Natural Disaster Management Law for allegedly violating COVID-19 pandemic restrictions throughout the 2020 election marketing campaign; illegally importing walkie-talkies that had been for her bodyguards’ use; unlicensed use of the radios; and spreading info that might trigger public alarm or unrest.

The most severe cost that Suu Kyi faces is breaching the colonial-era Official Secrets Act, which carries a penalty of as much as 14 years’ imprisonment, however that’s being dealt with by a separate court.

Suu Kyi’s supporters say the proceedings are politically motivated and are supposed to discredit her and legitimize the army’s seizure of energy. If convicted of any of the offenses, she might be banned from operating within the election that the junta has pledged to carry inside one or two years of its takeover.

The army ousted Suu Kyi’s authorities after her occasion received a landslide victory in a normal election final November that might have given it a second five-year time period in workplace. Before the beginning of democratic reforms a decade in the past, Myanmar was dominated by the army for 50 years.

The junta claims it was justified in taking energy due to alleged widespread election fraud, particularly irregularities in voting lists. The Asian Network for Free Elections, a non-partisan ballot watching group, in a report issued final week rejected the army’s allegations of huge fraud, saying the outcomes of the voting had been consultant of the desire of the folks.

The junta has accused Suu Kyi of corruption and introduced on state tv what it mentioned was proof that she took bribes, however has up to now solely mentioned it intends to pursue fees for that offense. Her legal professionals dismiss the allegations.

Several circumstances are additionally pending in opposition to different senior members of Suu Kyi’s occasion along with Win Myint.

According to Myanmar’s Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which has been holding an in depth tally of arrests and deaths for the reason that coup, nearly 4,300 individuals are in detention, together with 95 who’ve already been sentenced.

Resistance to army rule is widespread. About 100 younger folks gathered Monday in a lightning protest in Yangon, the nation’s largest metropolis, carrying banners and chanting pro-democracy slogans earlier than hurriedly dispersing.

Flash mobs have changed the mass demonstrations that had been held in February and March due to the lethal response of safety forces.

According to the Assistance Association, 818 protesters and bystanders have been killed by safety personnel for the reason that coup.

Junta chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing mentioned in an interview final week with Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television that the loss of life toll had been exaggerated and was really about 300 and that 47 police had been killed and extra then 200 injured..

Most resistance to the junta continues to be non-violent, significantly in a boycott of public faculties, however armed resistance seems to be rising.

There are experiences just about day by day of small home made explosives being set off in Yangon and elsewhere and of some killings of alleged informers and native directors appointed by the junta.

Reports on social media over the weekend mentioned there was heavy combating between safety forces and members of a grassroots anti-junta People’s Defense Force in Kayah state — also referred to as Karenni state — in japanese Myanmar. Such experiences, particularly in distant areas, are tough to independently confirm.

As many as 40 members of the safety forces had been killed in joint assaults launched by the People’s Defense Force and ethnic Karenni guerrillas, on-line information companies The Irrawaddy and Myanmar Now reported. The Irrawaddy additionally mentioned 4 civilians had been killed when artillery fired by authorities forces hit a Catholic church in Kayah.

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