A trial of Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi on corruption charges is set to begin on October 1st, a member of her legal team said September 17.
Lawyer Khin Maung Zaw said a judge declared the trial would be held at the Special Court in the capital Naypyitaw on every other Friday. He announced the decision after presentations in the court by Ms. Suu Kyi’s lawyers and prosecutors from the central city of Mandalay, where the charges were originally lodged.
Ms. Suu Kyi, whose elected government was overthrown by an army takeover in February, is currently being tried on other charges by the Special Court. In the ongoing trial, she faces charges of sedition, two counts of flouting c-19 pandemic restrictions, illegally importing walkie-talkies that were for her bodyguards’ use and the unlicensed use of the radios.
She also is due to be tried for breaching the official secrets law in a case that was transferred earlier this week to Naypyitaw from Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city.
Ms. Suu Kyi’s supporters as well as independent analysts say all the charges against her are politically motivated and an attempt to discredit her and legitimize the military’s seizure of power while keeping her from returning to politics. Her lawyers deny any wrongdoing.
The army takeover was met with massive popular resistance, which is continuing despite harsh measures by security forces to quash it.
Ms. Suu Kyi, 76, has been charged in five cases under the anti-corruption law, four by the Mandalay Region High Court that will now be tried in Naypyitaw, and one by the Yangon Region High Court.
The Mandalay cases include two under Section 55 of the law, which states that a political post holder convicted of corruption is liable to up to 15 years’ imprisonment and a fine.
In the other two Mandalay cases, Ms. Suu Kyi was named a co-defendant with political colleagues, including former Naypyitaw Mayor Myo Aung, under Section 63 for allegedly conspiring to carry out corruption. It carries the same penalty.