Several police officers testified when the trial of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi began on Monday. Her lawyers say they are prepared for the worst.
According to attorney Khin Maung Zaw, Suu Kyi “didn’t look very good” when the trial began, but seemed interested and followed.
At Monday’s court hearing, her defense team was said to have had the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses, and Suu Kyi herself was expected to be allowed to speak. It is not known if she did.
Suu Kyi has been under house arrest since the military seized power on 1 February.
“We wish for the best, but we are prepared for the worst,” Zhao said before the trial began.
And there have been almost daily demonstrations since the military coup, in which more than 850 people have been killed, according to human rights groups.
won the election
Suu Kyi is accused of a number of crimes, including corruption. The peace prize-winning National League for Democracy (NLD) won elections in Myanmar last fall, but the military seized power and claimed electoral fraud. This has been refuted by international investigators.
She is 75 and risks more than a decade in prison if convicted.
Suu Kyi spent more than 15 years under house arrest during the previous junta before being released in 2010. She developed close ties with the military during Myanmar’s more democratic period of rule.
But the relationship soured, and after the military took power, she was not allowed to speak in public.
– take the gold
Last week, the charges against her were extended to include corruption. The military accuses her of receiving $600,000 in cash and 11 kilograms of gold.
Defense attorney Khin Maung Zaw said the new charges were absurd.
– There is an indisputable political background here, to keep it away from the public eye and tarnish its political prestige. The lawyer says that this is one of the reasons for her prosecution and removal from the public.
UN human rights activist Michelle Bachelet said on Friday that Myanmar has plunged into a humanitarian crisis, and that only the plotters of the military coup are to blame.