Aung San Suu Kyi Trial Resumes in Myanmar After a Day’s Delay Over Health Concerns

Detained Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi returned to court on Tuesday after an absence due to poor health the previous day interrupted the re-start of her trial in the capital Naypyidaw this week, sources said.

Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar President Win Myint were ousted in a Feb. 1 military coup that overthrew their democratically elected government over unproven accusations by the now ruling junta of voter fraud.

Their trial in a junta court on charges widely regarded as politically motivated was suspended for two months amid an outbreak in the country of COVID-19 and was set to resume on Monday, but was again postponed when Aung San Suu Kyi complained of dizzy spells.

She returned to court on Tuesday, defense attorney Khin Maung Zaw—head of the former national leader’s defense team—told RFA’s Myanmar Service in an interview.

“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had a spell of dizziness yesterday, but she was fine today, though she said she still felt a bit groggy,” Khin Maun Zaw said, referring to Aung San Suu Kyi by the honorific Daw. “But we were able to discuss the case,” he said.

“We also discussed the four corruption charges filed against her in the Mandalay High Court, and she signed a letter of representation for another corruption case filed at the Yangon Region High Court that the team had submitted on her behalf,” he said.

Aung San Suu Kyi, 76, had been in good health during the last two months, and had experienced difficulties only on Monday, her lawyers told RFA. She had previously been under the care of a family doctor, but after being taken into custody was assigned a doctor by Myanmar’s ruling Military Council.

Defense attorneys on Tuesday also filed a motion with the Naypyidaw court arguing that Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and former Yangon mayor Myo Aung should not be charged with incitement to disrupt public order,  a case opened by police against the three under Section 505 (b) of the country’s Penal Code.

Prosecutors at the same time filed a motion in defense of the charge, defense attorney Min Min Soe said.

“Both sides [argued over] the indictment in the 505 (b) case against the three leaders,” Min Min Soe said, adding, “We argued that no charges should be filed, while the prosecution insisted that they should be.”

The court will issue its decision at its next hearing next Tuesday, she said.

Aung San Suu Kyi now faces up to 11 different charges filed by the military against her, and if found guilty in all cases could face a maximum sentence of more than 100 years in prison.

Myanmar’s junta has also detained nearly four dozen high-ranking officials from the deposed National League for Democracy (NLD) on charges of corruption since seizing power nearly seven months ago in what legal analysts have called a bid to tarnish the party’s image at a time of heightened political rivalry.

Anti-junta resistance continues in Myanmar, with as many as 1,089 protesters and other opponents of military rule killed and 6,477 arrested since the Feb. 1 coup, according to figures compiled by the Bangkok-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma).

Reported by RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Richard Finney.