Asia Pacific

Myanmar court defers verdicts in Suu Kyi trial to Dec 27 - source

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Myanmar's then state counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, attending an invesmtent meeting in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, January 28, 2019. REUTERS/Ann Wang

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Dec 20 (Reuters) - A court in military-ruled Myanmar deferred on Monday the latest verdicts in the trial of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to Dec. 27, a source familiar with the proceedings said.

The court had been due to rule on charges of possession of unlicensed walkie-talkies and a set of signal jammers, which carry maximum penalties of three years and a year in jail, respectively. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the judge did not give a reason for the deferral.

The delay comes after Suu Kyi, 76, was sentenced on Dec. 6 to four years in jail for incitement and breaching coronavirus rules by the court. Her sentence was later reduced to a two-year term of detention in her current, undisclosed location.

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Myanmar has been in turmoil since the Feb.1 coup against Suu Kyi's democratically elected government led to widespread protests and raised international concern about the end of tentative political reforms following decades of military rule.

Soon after Suu Kyi's detention, a police document said six walkie-talkies had been found in her home and they had been imported illegally and used without permission.

Nobel laureate Suu Kyi in on trial for nearly a dozen cases that carry combined maximum sentences of more than 100 years in prison. Suu Kyi denies all charges.

Suu Kyi's supporters say the cases against her are baseless and designed to end her political career and tie her up in legal proceedings while the military consolidates power.

The junta says Suu Kyi is being given due process by an independent court led by a judge appointed by her own administration.

Her trial in the capital, Naypyitaw, has been closed to the media and Suu Kyi's lawyers have been barred from communicating with the media and public.

The military has not given details of where Suu Kyi, who spent years under house arrest under a previous military government, is being detained.

In her most recent court hearings, Suu Kyi has been wearing a white top and a brown wraparound longyi that is the typical uniform for prisoners in Myanmar the Southeast Asian country, sources said.

In remarks published last week in state media, military ruler Min Aung Hlaing said Suu Kyi and ousted President Win Myint would remain in the same location during their trials and would not be sent to prison.

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Reporting by Reuters Staff; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Jacqueline Wong, Robert Birsel

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