Win Myint, Myanmar’s civilian president who was removed from office by the military, has testified that the generals tried to force him to relinquish power hours before the February 1 coup, warning him he could be seriously harmed if he refused, according to his lawyer.
The first public comments from Wim Myint since he was overthrown challenge the military’s claim that no coup took place and that power was lawfully transferred to the generals by an acting president.
Win Myint was testifying in court alongside Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and de facto government leader before the coup, at their trial on charges including sedition and incitement, stemming from letters bearing their names that were sent to embassies urging diplomats not to recognise the military regime.
Win Myint, who was Myanmar’s head of state, told the court in the capital Naypyidaw that two senior military officials approached him on February 1 and told him to resign, citing ill health.
“The president turned down their proposal, saying he was in good health,” defence lawyer Khin Maung Zaw said in an English-language text message sent to reporters, citing his testimony.