News World Myanmar police charge ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi with violating import laws

Myanmar police charge ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi with violating import laws

Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Myanmar’s overthrown leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged with illegally importing walkie-talkie radios and using them without permission.

The 75-year-old, who was detained on Monday after Myanmar’s military took control of the government, will remain under house arrest until at least February 15 to allow for investigations to take place.

The situation is all too familiar for the democratically-elected leader.

Between 1989 and 2010, Ms Suu Kyi endured about 15 years of house arrest as she led the country’s democracy movement.

Her recent detainment has cut short a transition to democracy in a takeover that has drawn condemnation from the United States and other Western nations.

A police request to a court detailing the accusations against Ms Suu Kyi said six unregistered walkie-talkie radios had been found in a search of her home in the capital, Naypyidaw.

It said she had violated import-export laws because the radios were brought into the country illegally and used by her bodyguards without permission.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has put himself in charge of Myanmar after Aung San Suu Kyi’s arrest. Photo: Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun

The document reviewed on Wednesday requested Ms Suu Kyi’s detention “in order to question witnesses, request evidence and seek legal counsel after questioning the defendant”.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the charges against Ms Suu Kyi “just compound the undermining of the rule of law in Myanmar and the democratic process”.

“We continue to call for her immediate release and the president’s immediate release and all others who have been detained by the military in the last few days,” he told reporters.

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

Ms Suu Kyi remains hugely popular at home despite damage to her international reputation over the plight of Muslim Rohingya refugees in 2017.

Myanmarese residents in Japan stage a protest rally in front of the Japanese Foreign Ministry in Tokyo on February 3. Photo: AAP

Her 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.

Army chief Min Aung Hlaing seized power on the grounds of fraud in a November 8 election, which the NLD won in a landslide.

The electoral commission has said the vote was fair.

-with AAP