Trial of Myanmar's Suu Kyi enters final phase

Ms Aung San Suu Kyi has been convicted on 14 charges, ranging from corruption to flouting Covid-19 restrictions. PHOTO: AFP

YANGON - A junta court will hear the final arguments in the 18-month-long trial of Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi next week, a legal source said on Tuesday, before reaching its final verdicts against the Nobel laureate.

Ms Suu Kyi has been a prisoner since the military toppled her government in February 2021, ending the South-east Asian nation’s brief period of democracy.

She has been convicted on 14 charges, ranging from corruption to illegally possessing walkie-talkies and flouting Covid-19 restrictions.

The junta court will hear “final arguments” from both sides related to five remaining charges of corruption on Dec 26, according to a source with knowledge of the case.

“The verdict will be given after that stage,” the source said, adding that a date had not yet been set.

Ms Suu Kyi, 77, appeared in good health, the source said.

Each corruption charge carries a maximum jail term of 15 years.

Journalists have been barred from attending the court hearings and Ms Suu Kyi’s lawyers have been banned from speaking to the media.

In June, she was transferred from house arrest in military-built Naypyidaw to a prison compound, where her trial continues at a special court.

The military alleged widespread voter fraud during the November 2020 election, won resoundingly by Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, although international observers said the poll was largely free and fair.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the coup, with over 2,500 killed in the military’s crackdown on dissent, according to a local monitoring group. AFP

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