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Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi denies junta charge of incitement to cause alarm: Reports

Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi has denied a charge of incitement to cause public alarm, media reported on Tuesday (Oct 26), in her first court testimony since a February coup plunged the country into chaos and ended a decade of democratic reform.

Citing lawyers, BBC Burmese and Myanmar Now reported that Aung San Suu Kyi had denied incitement in connection with her party publishing a letter in February calling on international organisations not to cooperate with the junta.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the reports.

A source with knowledge of the case told AFP that Aung San Suu Kyi "gave her statement at the court by herself".

The contents of her testimony on Tuesday "cannot be revealed" until the court has certified them, the source said, adding that this was expected next week.

Aung San Suu Kyi went on trial in June, four months after she was taken into custody, and faces a raft of charges that could see her jailed for decades.

Media have been barred from attending her trial, and Myanmar's state media has not reported developments in her multiple legal cases.

One of the only sources of public information on Aung San Suu Kyi's trial - her lawyer, Khin Maung Zaw - received a gagging order from the military authorities earlier this month.

That order came after Khin Maung Zaw said that Myanmar's deposed president Win Myint testified in court that the military had tried to force him to relinquish power hours before the Feb 1 coup and warned him that he could be seriously harmed if he refused.

The lawyer said that Aung San Suu Kyi had asked him to make public Win Myint's testimony, which was his first account of events before the coup.

Aung San Suu Kyi is being held at an undisclosed location and attended Tuesday's hearings at a specially built court in Myanmar's capital, Naypyidaw.

She is charged with a litany of offences, including breaking COVID-19 protocols, illegally possessing two-way radios, accepting bribes of cash and gold, incitement to cause public alarm and violating the Official Secrets Act.

Her lawyers have rejected the accusations, which they said Aung San Suu Kyi has characterised as "absurd".

The 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner led a civilian government after her party swept a 2015 election called after the military stepped back from half a century of direct rule.

Source: AGENCIES/kg

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