The United Nations has described the charges against the former leader as politically motivated. If convicted, she could face a maximum of 102 years in prison.

More than eight months after she was detained by the military in a coup, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar’s ousted civilian government, and her lawyers mounted her defense for the first time on Tuesday in a closed-door hearing.

Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, 76, appeared in a courtroom specially built for her in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar, where the prosecution has spent the last several months presenting its case on charges of “inciting public unrest,” illegally importing walkie-talkies and breaching coronavirus regulations.

No journalists, diplomats or members of the public have been allowed in court. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s testimony was not made public and the junta has barred all five of her lawyers from speaking to the media, saying their communications could “destabilize the country.” If convicted of all 11 charges against her, she could be sentenced to a maximum of 102 years in prison.

The hearing on Tuesday came as President Biden prepared to attend a virtual summit with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this week, the first time in four years that a U.S. president will participate in the annual meeting. Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the head of Myanmar’s junta, was excluded from the meeting, where discussions are expected to focus on the crisis in Myanmar.

© Copyright LaPresse