BANGKOK (AP) — A court in military-ruled Myanmar on Tuesday postponed by a day delivering a verdict on the first of almost a dozen corruption cases filed against the country’s former leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
The court in the capital Naypyitaw did not give any reason for delaying the expected verdict until Wednesday, said a legal official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to release information. Suu Kyi’s trial has been closed to the public, and her lawyers barred from speaking to the press.
Suu Kyi, who was ousted by an army takeover in February last year, could face up to 15 years in prison and a fine if convicted. She has denied the allegation that she had accepted gold and hundreds of thousands of dollars given her as a bribe by a top political colleague.
Her supporters and independent legal experts have decried her prosecution as unjust and meant to keep the 76-year-old Suu Kyi from returning to an active role in politics. She has already been sentenced to six years’ imprisonment in other cases and faces 10 additional corruption charges.
Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won a landslide victory in the 2020 general election, but lawmakers were not allowed to take their seats when the army seized power on Feb. 1, 2021, arresting Suu Kyi and many senior colleagues in her party and government. The army claimed it acted because there had been massive electoral fraud, but independent election observers didn’t find any major irregularities.