Already sentenced to two years in prison in early December, the former Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi should know, Monday, December 20, the verdict in another part of her trial-river. She faces, in theory, three years in prison for importing and possessing walkie-talkies, but this is just one of many accusations that analysts say are aimed at removing her from the political arena for good.
The 76-year-old Nobel Laureate has been under house arrest since the military coup that overthrew her on the morning of 1is February. This time, the charges relate to the early hours of the coup, when soldiers and police broke into her home and allegedly found her in possession of unauthorized equipment.
During the investigation, members of the team that led the raid admitted during questioning that they did not have a search warrant, according to a source familiar with the matter. Aung San Suu Kyi is unlikely to be taken to jail on Monday, and the junta court may postpone the date of the verdict.
A closed-door trial
Earlier this month, she was sentenced to four years in prison for inciting public unrest and violating Covid-related health rules, a verdict strongly condemned by the international community. Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing later commuted the sentence to two years in prison, and announced that she would serve her sentence under house arrest in the capital, Naypyidaw.
The media are not allowed to attend his trial behind closed doors in a special court in the capital. The junta also banned its legal team from speaking to the press and international organizations.
The junta has regularly added new charges, including corruption, punishable by fifteen years in prison, and electoral fraud in the elections that his party, the National League for Democracy, won hands down in November 2020.
For almost ten months, the lady from Rangoon has been confined to an undisclosed location with a small team. Her link with the outside world is limited to brief meetings with her lawyers, which kept her informed of the situation in the country and relayed messages to her supporters. Aung San Suu Kyi’s defense team was the sole source of information about the closed-door trial. In the meantime, several trials have sentenced other prominent members of the NLD to severe sentences. A former minister was sentenced to 75 years in prison in early December, while a close collaborator of the former head of government received a 20-year sentence.
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In Burma, verdict awaited for Aung San Suu Kyi in a new part of his trial