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Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi testifies in court but a gag order prevents her defense from being made public

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s ousted civilian leader, testified in court on Tuesday for the first time since she was overthrown in a military coup that sparked nationwide protests. Her testimony occurred in the capital city of Naypyidaw, however, it was not made public due to a gag order imposed on her legal team by the now-ruling military junta. Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate, was testifying against several charges brought against her after pleading not guilty to a charge of incitement last month. The testimony challenged the military’s claim that no coup took place. The charge stems from letters bearing the names of Suu Kyi and ousted President Win Myint urging embassies not to recognize the junta.

Suu Kyi was formerly Myanmar’s state counselor and de facto leader of the country. She now faces a series of criminal charges that could land her behind bars for decades if found guilty. Suu Kyi faces charges of corruption, which carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years each, violating Covid-19 pandemic restrictions during the 2020 election, illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies, and breaking the Official Secrets Act, which dates back to the colonial era. Myanmar’s state media has not reported on the testimony and the gag order means that the public will likely not know what occurred.

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