Myanmar court defers verdicts in Suu Kyi trial to Dec 27: Source

A photo from Sept 19, 2017, shows Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar. She will face three years in prison if found guilty. PHOTO: AFP

YANGON (REUTERS) - A court in military-ruled Myanmar deferred on Monday (Dec 20) the latest verdicts in the trial of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to Dec 27, a source familiar with the proceedings said.

The court had been due to rule on charges of possession of unlicensed walkie-talkies and a set of signal jammers, which carry maximum penalties of three years and a year in jail, respectively.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the judge did not give a reason for the deferral.  

The delay comes after Ms Suu Kyi, 76, was sentenced on Dec 6 to four years in jail for incitement and breaching coronavirus rules by the court.

Her sentence was later reduced to a two-year term of detention in her current, undisclosed location.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the Feb1 coup against Ms Suu Kyi’s democratically elected government led to widespread protests and raised international concern about the end of tentative political reforms following decades of military rule.  

Soon after Ms Suu Kyi’s detention, a police document said six walkie-talkies had been found in her home and they had been imported illegally and used without permission.

Nobel laureate Ms Suu Kyi in on trial for nearly a dozen cases that carry combined maximum sentences of more than 100 years in prison. 

Ms Suu Kyi denies all charges.  

Ms Suu Kyi’s supporters say the cases against her are baseless and designed to end her political career and tie her up in legal proceedings while the military consolidates power.  

The junta says Ms Suu Kyi is being given due process by an independent court led by a judge appointed by her own administration.  

Her trial in the capital, Naypyitaw, has been closed to the media and Ms Suu Kyi’s lawyers have been barred from communicating with the media and public.  

The military has not given details of where Ms Suu Kyi, who spent years under house arrest under a previous military government, is being detained.

In her most recent court hearings, Ms Suu Kyi has been wearing a white top and a brown wraparound longyi that is the typical uniform for prisoners in Myanmar the Southeast Asian country, sources said.

In remarks published last week in state media, military ruler Min Aung Hlaing said 
Ms Suu Kyi and ousted President Win Myint would remain in the same location during their trials and would not be sent to prison.

A junta-appointed election commission investigating allegations of fraud during the polls is due to report its findings in early 2022, the information minister told a press conference earlier this month.

In recent weeks, other senior members of the NLD have received long sentences.

A former chief minister was sentenced to 75 years in jail, while a close aide of Ms Suu Kyi was jailed for 20 years.

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