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HomeBreakingThe legal saga over Aung San Suu Kyi's Yangon home continues

The legal saga over Aung San Suu Kyi’s Yangon home continues

The lawyer for Aung San Suu Kyi’s elder brother Aung San Oo proposed granting access to the 54 University Avenue residence for the participants of a second attempt to auction off the home, which has been at the center of a decades-long inheritance dispute between the siblings.

A source close to the Kamayut District Court said this proposal was made in writing by Aung San Oo’s lawyer on May 23.

“They have submitted their proposals. On May 15, the lawyer proposed to allow auctioneers into the compound, to conduct the auction there, and to advertise it in newspapers. The judge said oral proposals are not enough and requested written submissions,” added the anonymous source.

The military regime attempted to auction off Aung San Suu Kyi’s home on March 20 at a starting price of $90 million USD. But there were no bidders on the famed lakeside villa, where she spent 15 years under house arrest – imposed by the military – until she was released in 2010 and allowed to take her seat in parliament following her win in a 2012 by-election. 

Since then, Aung San Suu Kyi has lived in the capital Naypyidaw leading her National League for Democracy (NLD) party, which formed the government from 2015 to 2021, until the Feb. 1, 2021 military coup ousted the NLD and placed her in detention.

Back in 2016, the Western Yangon District Court ruled that the 54 University Avenue residence was to be shared between the siblings. Aung San Oo unsuccessfully appealed to the court to have the home auctioned off, with the proceeds to be shared between them.

But after Aung San Suu Kyi was jailed, Aung San Oo made an appeal to Myanmar’s Supreme Court in 2022, which led to the auction in March.

It is unclear if Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been held in solitary confinement in Naypyidaw over the last three years, has been given the opportunity to respond to the court decision to auction her home.

The source at the Kamayut District Court indicated that Aung San Oo’s lawyer will also request the auction starting price to be lowered to encourage bidders at the second auction attempt. 

“While it’s within their rights to request a floor price adjustment if the [first] auction fails, the court is unlikely to approve [it] without substantial justification. If [the auction] fails again, the court will try to [re]negotiate the process,” said Khin Maung Myint, a Myanmar legal advisor.

In Myanmar inheritance cases, auction prices must be agreed upon by both parties. But Aung San Suu Kyi has been cut off from her legal team, who have made efforts to submit a revision to the Yangon Regional Court to stop the auction of the 54 University Avenue residence.

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