Suu Kyi’s Australian adviser appears at Myanmar’s Junta Court.
According to a lawyer involved in the case, an Australian aide to Myanmar’s deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in a junta court on Thursday to face immigration and official secrets charges.
Following the February 1 coup that deposed Suu Kyi’s government and caused massive protests, Macquarie University lecturer Sean Turnell was the first foreign national arrested.
Turnell has been kept at Yangon’s Insein Prison since his detention, and in court in the capital, Naypyidaw, he looks “frail and exhausted,” according to lawyer Khin Maung Zaw, who is working on the case.
Turnell was dressed in a “complete Covid-19 protective garment,” according to the lawyer, who did not provide further specifics.
Of July, his wife begged for his release, citing health concerns during a spike in Covid-19 cases across the country.
State-run media afterwards published photos of Turnell reportedly receiving a vaccine in Insein Prison.
Myanmar has been in upheaval since the military coup, which spurred large protests and a harsh crackdown on dissent.
Suu Kyi is facing charges of illegally importing walkie-talkies, violating coronavirus regulations, and inciting.
If she is proven guilty, she could face decades in prison.
Her National League for Democracy government was toppled by the military in 2020 elections, when it defeated a political party affiliated with the generals, allegedly due to voter fraud.
According to a local monitoring group, security personnel have killed over 1,100 civilians since the coup.
According to the military, the death toll is substantially lower.