Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s Trial Started As Expected On June 14, 2021

More than four months after the military seized power, deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi began her trial on June 14, 2021. 
It has brought an eclectic mix of charges against Aung San Suu Kyi, who was just returned to office after winning landslides in elections last November 2021, including that she accepted gold payments illegally and violated a colonial-era secrecy law.
One witness testified that the 75-year-old woman broke coronavirus restrictions while campaigning during the polls, while another testified on separate charges accusing her of illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies, the lawyer for the woman said.
Last week, Aung San Suu Kyi was charged with additional corruption for allegedly accepting $600,000 in cash and approximately 11kg (24.2 pounds) of gold.
Journalists were barred from attending court proceedings, and there was heavy police presence outside, according to an AFP reporter.
The trial is expected to be over by July 26, 2021, according to Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers, who have struggled to gain access to their clients.
A separate trial is scheduled to begin June 15, 2021,  over the sedition charges she faces alongside overthrown president Win Myint and another senior member of the NLD.
Aung San Suu Kyi faces more than a decade in jail if convicted of all charges.
“This is nothing more than a political show trial,” said Debbie Stothard, Coordinator of the Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma.
“Min Aung Hlaing [military chief] is determined to imprison Aung San Suu Kyi for the rest of her life. He probably would charge her under every law available to him.”
Aung San Suu Kyi was prevented from running for office because of political motives and bogus allegations.
The trial is part of an overall strategy to undermine Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy party as a force capable of challenging the military regime in the future, said deputy Asia director Phil Robertson.
Myanmar has been rocked by protests almost daily since the generals’ February 1, 2021 putsch. More than 850 civilians have been killed in a brutal military crackdown following a mass uprising, according to a local monitoring group.

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