The Supreme Court of Myanmar Has Taken Over Aung San Suu Kyi’s Case

The Supreme Court controlled by the junta have taken over the official secrets case against ousted State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, her economic advisor, and three of her cabinet members.

After the hearing at Yangon’s eastern district court-held via video link recently-a member of Suu Kyi’s defense team said the judge didn’t specify the reason for the intervention.

San Marlar Nyunt told reporters that because the case file was no longer at Eastern District Court, the judge was unable to proceed and only provided us with the new hearing schedule.

The 1923 law stipulates that possession, collection, recording, publication, or sharing of state information that could be useful to an enemy is unlawful and Suu Kyi faces a 14-year sentence.

Kyaw Win, his successor Soe Win, and deputy minister Set Aung face the same charges, as does Australian economist Sean Turnell. 

The supreme court can request a case file for unusual cases. They have the right to do that, San Marlar Nyunt said. The next hearing will take place on June 3rd, 2021. 

The defense team has been called again to the eastern district court in Yangon for a hearing, but it is unclear whether the case will actually be heard there, she added.

In the video call, Suu Kyi again requested an in-person meeting with her five-member defence team, but her lawyers were not present. In a recording shown to them by the judge, Suu Kyi repeatedly asked that the judge give her a personal meeting with her lawyers.

The 75-year-old faces five additional charges in Naypyitaw and a total prison sentence of up to 26 years.

The Official Secrets Act charge was accompanied by accusations of inciting her husband to commit murder, violating the Importation and Export Law, and violating the Telecommunications Law.

Last year, she was also charged with two counts of violating Covid-19 rules while campaigning.

Since the military overthrew her government on February 1, 2021, Suu Kyi has not been able to meet with her lawyers in person.

After almost four months in detention, she is due to finally have a meeting next week, though not a private one. 

Suu Kyi’s hearing on Monday will be held near her residence, where she is under house arrest, rather than via video call, a judge told defence lawyers in Naypyitaw earlier this month.

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