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Myanmar police file charges against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi under import-export law

Myanmar police file charges against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi under import-export law

Aung San Suu Kyi. (File photo: AP/Aung Shine Oo)

YANGON: Myanmar police have filed charges against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi for allegedly illegally importing communications equipment and she will be detained until Feb 15, according to a police document seen by Reuters on Wednesday (Feb 3).

Myanmar's army seized power on Monday, detaining Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and cutting short a transition to democracy in a takeover that has drawn condemnation from the United States and other Western countries.

According to stamped police documents also seen by AFP, a military team from the commander-in-chief's office searched Aung San Suu Kyi's residence at 6.30am (8am, Singapore time) on Monday.

They found at least 10 walkie talkies and other communication devices.

These devices were considered evidence to "file a lawsuit to take action against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who had imported and used these communication devices without permission".

The document requested Aung San Suu Kyi's detention "in order to question witnesses, request evidence and seek legal counsel after questioning the defendant".

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A separate document showed police filed charges against ousted President Win Myint for offences under the Disaster Management Law.

The document said Win Myint, his wife and his daughter had taken part in a campaign event in September that drew hundreds of people - actions that flouted COVID-19 restrictions.

Reuters was not immediately able to reach the police, the government or the court for comment.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party said earlier in a statement that its offices had been raided in several regions and urged authorities to stop what it called unlawful acts after its victory in a Nov 8 election.

"We have got reliable information that Dakhinathiri court has given a 14-day remand from February 1 to February 15 against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi under the charge of violating the import/export law," Kyi Toe, NLD press officer, wrote on his official Facebook page.

READ: Singaporeans in Myanmar say situation appears 'calm' a day after military coup

READ: Myanmar nationals in Singapore express disbelief over military coup back home, worry about families

Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior figures from the ruling party were detained in an early morning raid on Monday.

Army chief Min Aung Hlaing seized power on the grounds of fraud in a Nov 8 election, which the NLD won in a landslide. The electoral commission had said the vote it was fair.

Min Aung Hlaing appointed himself head of a new Cabinet stacked with former and current generals, justifying his coup as the "inevitable" result of civilian leaders' failure to heed the army's fraud warnings.

The military declared a one-year state of emergency and said it would hold new elections once their allegations of voter irregularities were addressed and investigated.

Aung San Suu Kyi endured about 15 years of house arrest between 1989 and 2010 as she led the country's democracy movement and she remains hugely popular at home despite damage to her international reputation over the flight of Muslim Rohingya refugees in 2017.

Source: AGENCIES/rw

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