The second lawsuit against Aung San Suu Kyi has been postponed by the Myanmar court
Suu Kyi's party won a landslide victory in last year's general election, but the military claimed extensive electoral fraud, which independent poll watchers dispute.
According to a legal official familiar with the case, a court in military-ruled Myanmar postponed its decisions on two counts against former leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in which she is accused of importing and holding walkie-talkies without following official protocols.
The case in the capital, Naypyitaw, is one of many filed against the 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate after the army ousted her elected government and arrested top members of her National League for Democracy party on Feb. 1.
According to the legal official, the court cited no explanation for delaying the findings until January 10, fearing retaliation from the authorities, who have restricted the dissemination of information regarding Suu Kyi's trials.
Suu Kyi's party scored a resounding victory in the general election last year, but the military claimed extensive electoral fraud, which independent pollsters dispute.
All of the charges against Suu Kyi, according to her supporters and independent observers, are politically motivated and an attempt to discredit her and legitimise the military's seizure of power while preventing her from returning to politics. If convicted of all charges, she may face a sentence of more than 100 years in jail.
Suu Kyi was sentenced to four years in prison on Dec. 6 after being found guilty of two other charges: inciting and violating COVID-19 rules. Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the military-installed administration, reduced the sentence by half just hours after it was imposed. She is being kept by the military at an undisclosed location, according to state television, where she will complete her term.
Suu Kyi has been wearing prison clothing, a white top and a brown longyi skirt issued by the government, to court proceedings. The media and spectators are not allowed to attend the sessions, and the prosecutors do not speak. In October, her lawyers, who had been a source of information on the case, were served with gag orders.
Suu Kyi was first charged under the Export-Import Law with improperly importing walkie-talkies, which provided as the initial pretext for her ongoing arrest. The next month, a second charge of illegally possessing the radios was filed.
During a search on Feb. 1, the day she was detained, the radios were taken from the gate of her home and the barracks of her bodyguards.
The radios were not in Suu Kyi's personal ownership and were properly used to help provide for her protection, but the allegations were not dismissed by the court.
According to the legal authority, the court also heard video testimony from Suu Kyi's party's deputy chairman, Zaw Myint Maung, in another case against her concerning alleged violations of COVID-19 limitations during last year's election campaign.
People gathered to see Zaw Myint Maung when she visited Shwe Kyar Pin Ward during the campaign because they admire her, and it wasn't a breach of viral limitations, according to the official. Zaw Myint Maung had been unable to appear in court earlier due to illness.
The violation is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine under the Natural Disaster Management Law. She is also facing five counts of corruption in the same court. Each count carries a potential punishment of 15 years in jail and a fine. Suu Kyi and ousted President Win Myint are accused of granting permission to hire and buy a helicopter in a sixth corruption accusation that has yet to go to trial.
In a second case, she is charged with breaking the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
Myanmar's electoral commission issued new allegations against Suu Kyi and 15 other legislators in November for alleged election fraud from last year. Suu Kyi's party might be dissolved as a result of the allegations brought by the military-controlled Union Election Commission, and she would be unable to vote in a fresh election that the military has promised will take place within two years of its takeover.
According to a detailed list published by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, the military's seizure of power was met with nonviolent nationwide demonstrations, which security forces repressed with deadly force, killing nearly 1,400 civilians.
Peaceful protests have continued, but armed opposition has developed in response to the harsh crackdown, to the point where UN experts have warned that the country is on the verge of civil war.
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