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An Australian academic who is on trial alongside Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi for breaching the country’s official secrets law has testified for the first time in court, a legal official has said.

Sean Turnell, an economist at Macquarie University in Sydney, had been an adviser to Suu Kyi, who was arrested when her elected government was overthrown by the military last February.

He was arrested five days later and is currently being held at the main prison in Naypyitaw, the capital, along with Suu Kyi. Three of Suu Kyi’s former cabinet members are being tried with them by a special prison court.

Sean Turnell and Aung San Suu Kyi in his LinkedIn bio photo.

A legal official with knowledge of Thursday’s proceedings said Turnell denied the allegations against him and pleaded not guilty.

Further details of his testimony were not available as his lawyers were not allowed to speak on the case. All trials involving Suu Kyi have been held under similar restrictions, with proceedings closed to the media and the public.

Exact details of the alleged offense in the case have not been made public.

The judge adjourned proceedings from Thursday until next week, when Suu Kyi is due to testify.