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Jailed Australian economist testifies in closed Myanmar trial

Sean Turnel, an adviser to elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, was arrested five days after last year’s coup.

An Australian academic and economic adviser to Myanmar’s elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained after the military took power last year, has testified for the first time before a military court.

Sean Turnell, an economist at Macquarie University in Sydney, is on trial alongside Aung San Suu Kyi for violating the State Secrets Act.

turnell was arrested Five days after the February 1st coup, she is currently being held in prison in the capital Naypyidaw, along with Aung San Suu Kyi. Three of her former ministers are on trial in a closed court set up in a prison.

A legal official familiar with Thursday’s case told The Associated Press that Turnell denied the allegations against him and pleaded not guilty. . All trials involving Aung San Suu Kyi have been conducted under similar restrictions.

The attorney general, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, said Turnell and his co-defendants appeared to be in good health.

Myanmar state television said last year, citing a government statement, that Turnell had accessed “secret financial information of the state” and tried to flee the country, although exact details of the alleged crimes in the case were also not available. Not published.

Turnel is also facing charges under Myanmar’s immigration law, which carries a sentence of six months to five years in prison.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in June that Turnell’s release was a “Priority‘, indicating that new sanctions against Myanmar are being considered.

“To be honest, it is a hoaxed accusation by an authoritarian regime that wants to use Sean to discredit Aung San Suu Kyi. I quoted my colleague Tim Harcourt.

A judge has postponed Thursday’s proceedings until next week, when Aung San Suu Kyi will testify. A 76-year-old man has already been found guilty and imprisoned on suspicion of corruption. The international community dismissed her trial as a farce and demanded her immediate release.

Turner, pictured right, was Aung San Suu Kyi’s economic adviser and was arrested five days after the military seized power. [File: Hein Htet/EPA]

Myanmar sets foot Turmoil since the coup, led to mass civil disobedience and nationwide protests. Approximately 2,185 people were killed in a military crackdown on those opposing military rule, sparking what some UN experts consider a civil war.

Japanese parliamentarian visits Japan

Turnel’s trial was not mentioned in the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar, which said Friday that coup leader Min Aung Hlaing and Japanese ruling party lawmaker Hiromichi Watanabe reported a meeting with

The visit, confirmed by Watanabe’s office, took place between August 7 and 12, just days after the Japanese filmmaker. Toru Kubota Arrested Covering protests in Yangon.

State media did not say whether Kubota’s detention had been discussed, but Watanabe and Min Aung Hlaing said they were accused of plans to “cultivate cherries” and “false information about the political situation in Myanmar.” It spreads abroad and needs people,” he said, talking about bilateral relations. In Japan to know the real situation.”

Tokyo has called for the release of 26-year-old Kubota, who entered Myanmar on a tourist visa and was arrested in Yangon on July 30. He is charged with violating immigration laws and promoting dissent against the ruling party forces.

Toru Kubota
Japanese documentary filmmaker Toru Kubota detained by military while filming anti-coup protests in Yangon [File: Issei Kato/Reuters]

Yuki Kitazumi, a freelance journalist, Friday in Myanmar last year After being first arrested and charged with spreading false news by reporting on anti-coup protests.

The military said his release was an acknowledgment of the close ties between the two countries.

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