Junta Trial Of Myanmar Leader Aung San Suu Kyi To Hear First Testimony.

Junta Trial Of Myanmar Leader Aung San Suu Kyi To Hear First Testimony

Myanmar has been experiencing brutal crackdown on protests that killed 850 civillians. (File)

Naypyidaw, Myanmar:

The trial of deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi was expected to hear its first testimony Monday, more than four months after a military coup ousted her government.

Near daily protests have rocked Myanmar since the generals' February 1 putsch.

The mass uprising has been met with a brutal military crackdown that has killed more than 850 civilians, according to a local monitoring group.

The junta has brought an eclectic raft of charges against the Nobel laureate, including claims she accepted illegal payments of gold and violated a colonial-era secrecy law.

On Monday, her defence team was set to cross-examine witnesses over charges she improperly imported walkie-talkies and violated coronavirus restrictions during last year's elections that her National League for Democracy (NLD) party won in a landslide.

Her lawyers -- who have been allowed to meet with her just twice since she was placed under house arrest -- have said they expect the trial to wrap up by July 26.

Hearings will take place every Monday.

Journalists are barred from proceedings in the special court in the capital Naypyidaw, but an AFP reporter said there was a heavy police presence outside.

"We are hoping for the best but prepared for the worst," Khin Maung Zaw, one of Suu Kyi's lawyers, told AFP ahead of the hearing.

A separate trial is scheduled to start on June 15 over sedition charges she faces alongside ousted president Win Myint and another senior member of the NLD.

If convicted of all charges, Suu Kyi, 75, faces more than a decade in jail.

"It is a show trial motivated only by political reasons," Debbie Stothard Coordinator of the Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma told AFP.

"Min Aung Hlaing is determined to lock up Aung San Suu Kyi for the rest of her life. If he could, he would probably charge her under every law available."

Cloistered Icon

Suu Kyi spent more than 15 years under house arrest during the previous junta's rule before her 2010 release.

Her international reputation diminished following her defence of military-led violence against Myanmar's marginalised Muslim Rohingya community.

But the coup has returned Suu Kyi to the role of cloistered democracy icon.

On Thursday, she was hit with additional corruption charges over claims she illegally accepted $600,000 in cash and around 11 kilos of gold.

Her lawyer Khin Maung Zaw dismissed the new charges -- which could see Suu Kyi hit with another lengthy prison term -- as "absurd".

"There is an undeniable political background to keep her out of the scene of the country and to smear her prestige," he told AFP last week.

"That's one of the reasons to charge her -- to keep her out of the scene."

Myanmar has plunged into a "human rights catastrophe" since the coup, the UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said Friday, adding that the military leadership was "singularly responsible" for the crisis.

Bachelet also slammed the sweeping arrests of activists, journalists and opponents of the junta, citing credible sources saying at least 4,804 people remain in arbitrary detention.

Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing has justified his power grab by citing alleged electoral fraud in the November poll won by Suu Kyi's NLD.

The junta has previously said it would hold fresh elections within two years, but has also threatened to dissolve the NLD.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news
Usain Bolt discusses Olympic career, family and future.

Usain Bolt discusses Olympic career, family and future.

Eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt has already made history. Now he's a spectator for the next generation of competitors. He sat down with CBSN's Tanya Rivero to discuss his career, his family and his future. CBSN is CBS News’ 24/7 digita...

Sen. Cassidy: $1.2T infrastructure deal likely to happen next week

Sen. Cassidy: $1.2T infrastructure deal likely to happen next week

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., says there's been progress on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, with lawmakers hopeful deal will be done next week. #FoxNews #Cavuto Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX ...

WaPo: This is what Trump's PAC is spending its money on.

WaPo: This is what Trump's PAC is spending its money on.

Former President Donald Trump's political action committee has raised $75 million in donations so far this year, but despite Trump's continued support of the sham Arizona election fraud audit, none of the PAC's money has been used to fund the audi...

Rep. Smith rips St. Louis prosecutor’s no-show at murder trial: ‘Unacceptable’

Rep. Smith rips St. Louis prosecutor’s no-show at murder trial: ‘Unacceptable’

Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., tells ‘Fox News Live’ there’s ‘no excuse’ for the St. Louis prosecutor to be absent during a murder trial. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a...

Tokyo Olympics: Team GB gaining momentum

Tokyo Olympics: Team GB gaining momentum

Team GB have not yet won a medal, but their momentum could see them on a podium in no time. The first medals have been awarded at the Tokyo Olympics, with China taking gold in the Women's 10-metre Air Rifle. In rowing, Helen Glover qualified for t...

COVID-19: Protesters against restrictions in violent clashes with police in Paris.

COVID-19: Protesters against restrictions in violent clashes with police in Paris.

French anti-riot police fired teargas as clashes erupted during protests in central Paris against COVID-19 restrictions and a vaccination campaign. Police sought to push back demonstrators near the capital's Gare Saint-Lazare railway station after...