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Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi seen in court for first time since coup

An activist with a face mask featuring the image of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi is seen during a rally on May 19 in front of the Diet Building Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
An activist with a face mask featuring the image of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi is seen during a rally on May 19 in front of the Diet Building Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

May 24 (UPI) -- Deposed civilian Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in court on Monday for the first time since she was removed from power by the military junta in February.

Suu Kyi met with her defense team during the appearance in Naypyidaw. It was the first time she was able to meet in person with her attorneys.

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She faces multiple charges that could put her in prison for life.

Suu Kyi has been able to communicate through virtual appearances several times before, but Monday was the first time she did so publicly and was actually in the courtroom.

Myanmar's military rulers have charged her with five criminal counts, including violating the country's official secrets law, accepting bribes and illegally importing walkie-talkies.

Suu Kyi's legal team said Monday the ousted leader appeared determined to defend her political party, the National League of Democracy, moving forward after a 30-minute meeting.

"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said that the NLD is the party of the people, and the party will exist as long as the people exist," defense attorney Daw Min Min Soe said after the meeting, according to The New York Times.

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The Myanmar military arrested Suu Kyi and several other civilian government leaders in a pre-dawn raid on Feb. 1, when the junta took control of the country. The coup was motivated by parliamentary elections last fall that military leaders say was illegitimate.

The United Nations, United States and numerous western leaders have condemned the coup and called for Suu Kyi's release.

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