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Aung San Suu Kyi in quarantine after staff tests COVID-19 positive

YANGON (AFP) – Detained former Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has skipped three days of her trial in a junta court after COVID-19 was detected among her staff and she was placed in quarantine, a source with knowledge of the case said yesterday.

The 76-year-old’s civilian government was ousted in a coup last year that triggered mass protests, and she faces a raft of charges that could see her jailed for more than 150 years.

Currently on trial for alleged corruption, breaching Myanmar’s official secrets act and pressuring the election commission, Aung San Suu Kyi has not appeared in court since last Thursday, the legal source told AFP.

“Some people in her company have been infected by COVID-19… and so she’s kept in quarantine, although she’s not infected,” the source said.

“We are worried because we haven’t been able to see her.”

Former president Win Myint – charged alongside Aung San Suu Kyi – appeared at the court yesterday via video conferencing, the source added. Aung San Suu Kyi and her personal staff have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 since being taken into military custody, her lawyer told AFP last July.

She missed a hearing in September due to illness, and in October, her lawyer said her health had suffered from her frequent appearances before the junta-run court.

Journalists are barred from the proceedings in the military-built capital Naypyidaw, and her lawyers have been banned from speaking to the press.

Aung San Suu Kyi was previously sentenced to a total of six years in jail for incitement against the military, breaching COVID-19 rules and breaking a telecommunications law, although she remains under house arrest while she fights other charges.

File photo shows Aung San Suu Kyi in quarantine after her staff tested COVID-19 positive. PHOTO: AFP