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Myanmar's detained leader Suu Kyi faces another charge

  • News Desk

    Kyodo News

Yangon, Myanmar   /   Fri, April 2, 2021   /   10:45 am
Myanmar's detained leader Suu Kyi faces another charge Let her go: A group of protesting engineers hold up signs calling for the release of deposed Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration against the military coup in Naypyidaw on Feb. 15. (AFP/Stringer)

Myanmar's detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi faces another charge, her fifth since the Feb. 1 military coup that ousted her elected government, her lawyer said Thursday.

The lawyer, Min Min Soe, said the charge is related to the indictment of Australian economist Sean Turnell, a former adviser to Suu Kyi, who has been detained for violating the country's colonial-era official secrets act.

Suu Kyi has been held since the coup and indicted on four other charges: illegally importing walkie-talkies, flouting coronavirus restrictions, spreading information that fanned social unease, and receiving $600,000 and gold from then chief minister of the Yangon Region.

Min Min Soe confirmed that Suu Kyi was additionally charged under the official secrets act, together with four others, at a Yangon court a week ago and the next hearing will be on April 8.

For the four earlier charges, Suu Kyi attended a court hearing in Myanmar's capital Naypyitaw through videoconference Thursday. The lawyer defended her and said all the charges were fabricated.

The next court hearing on these charges will be held on April 12.

The lawyer met Suu Kyi Wednesday too through a videoconference call at a police station, and said she looked fine and her complexion looked good as well.

"She told me that all the people shall stay healthy and that she wishes for the good health for all," Min Min Soe said.

Suu Kyi was detained following the Feb. 1 military coup that ousted her elected government, and put under house arrest.

Reports say she has been moved from her residence in the capital, but it remains unclear where exactly she is.

On the same day, anti-coup protesters returned to the streets across the country to demand the release of Suu Kyi and an end to military rule.

Over 500 people have been killed since the coup, with security forces increasingly resorting to the use of deadly force to quell the wave of protests.