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Myanmar judge delays verdicts for Suu Kyi to hear from one more witness

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Myanmar judge delays verdicts for Suu Kyi to hear from one more witness
The judge on Tuesday said the court would delay the verdicts for Auns San Suu Kyi to allow Zaw Myint Maung, a senior member of her political party, to testify.  File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 30 (UPI) -- A judge in Myanmar on Tuesday postponed some of the trial verdicts for ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to allow for more testimony from a senior member of Suu Kyi's political party.

Suu Kyi was arrested during the military coup in February and charged with nearly a dozen crimes that could keep her in prison for the rest of her life.

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Among the charges against Suu Kyi are illegally importing communications devices and violating COVID-19 protocols.

Her trial has been held in secret and her attorneys have been prevented from talking to the media for fear it could "destabilize the country."

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The judge on Tuesday said the court would delay the verdicts for Suu Kyi to allow Zaw Myint Maung, a senior member of Suu Kyi's political party, to testify. Maung had previously been unable to testify due to health reasons.

Protesters rally against the military coup in Mandalay, Myanmar, on February 28. File Photo by Xiao Long/UPI

Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division, told Al Jazeera that nothing positive can be read into the judge's decision.

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"Myanmar's courts are still tightly beholden to the military so even though they postponed the announcement, a guilty verdict is widely expected," Robertson told the news outlet.

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"This trial has been a travesty of justice since day one, with fair trial procedures dumped to the wayside, defense counsel gagged, and public access non-existent."

Thinzar Shunlei Yi, a veteran protest organizer in Myanmar, said the delay is a tactic to sidestep the expected backlash to the verdicts against Suu Kyi.

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