Aung San Suu Kyi refutes military junta's charges

The Nobel Laureate has rejected charges of inciting public disorder. The former leader's lawyers have been ordered to remain silent. Meanwhile, the ASEAN summit begins without any Myanmar representative.



Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Aung San Suu Kyi has denied charges of inciting public disorder brought against her by the military junta now in power in Myanmar.

The former leader of the National League for Democracy, who led a civilian government before the coup by the army in February, testified yesterday before a military court in the capital Naypyitaw: it is the first time since the beginning of the process, which began in June.

The incitement charges were based on the publication of a letter in which Suu Kyi asked international organizations not to cooperate with the military junta. According to a source, the former leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner "made her statement to the court on her own."

The exact content of the testimony cannot be revealed because the military banned the 76-year-old's five lawyers from releasing information, while the media was prevented from attending the trial. 

One of the lawyers, Khin Maung Zaw, was ordered to remain silent after revealing the testimony of former Myanmar President Win Myint, who was also deposed by the military. Win had told of the soldiers' intimidation shortly before carrying out the coup and his statements had gone around the world.

Meanwhile, yesterday began a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) without a diplomatic delegate from Myanmar, after the Burmese junta refused to send a non-governmental representative.

In recent weeks, in an unprecedented decision that ends its policy of non-interference, ASEAN excluded General Min Aung Hlaing from the summit. According to leaders of the regional forum, the Burmese generals have failed to comply with the peace plan agreed to with Southeast Asian nations in April. The decision came after Asean's special envoy for Myanmar, Erywan Yusof, was barred from speaking with Aung San Suu Kyi.