Myanmar military government sentences former leader, Aung San Suu Kyi to 5 years in prison over corruption

Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi

The Myanmar military government has indicted former leader Aung San Suu Kyi sentencing her to five more years in prison after she was accused of corruption, 9News Nigeria Asia correspondent reports.

According to a report from South Asia media, a court sitting in military-ruled Myanmar convicted the country’s former leader Aung San Suu Kyi of corruption and sentenced her to five years in prison on Wednesday.

According to a source, who declined to be identified because the trial is being held behind closed doors, with information restricted, the judge in the capital Naypyidaw handed down the verdict within moments of the court convening.

The case centred on allegations that Aung San Suu Kyi, 76, accepted 11.4kg of gold and cash payments totalling US$600,000 from her protege-turned-accuser, former Yangon chief minister Phyo Min Thein.

Aung San Suu Kyi had denied the charges and called the allegations “absurd”. But the military says Aung San Suu Kyi is on trial because she committed crimes and is being given due process by an independent judiciary. A spokesman for the junta was not immediately available for comment.

Suu Kyi, who was ousted by an army takeover in February last year, had denied the allegation that she had accepted gold and hundreds of thousands of dollars given her as a bribe by a top political colleague. The maximum punishment for the offence is 15 years in prison and a fine.

Her supporters and independent legal experts have decried her prosecution as unjust and meant to remove the 76-year-old Suu Kyi from politics. She had already been sentenced to six years imprisonment in other cases.

Since her arrest on the morning of the Feb 1 coup last year, Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged with multiple crimes from violations of electoral and state secrets laws to incitement and corruption, accusations her supporters say are trumped up to kill off any chance of a political comeback.

It was not immediately clear if Aung San Suu Kyi would be transferred to a prison. She has been held in an undisclosed location, where junta leader Min Aung Hlaing said she could remain after earlier guilty verdicts in other cases.

In another vein, the international community has dismissed the trials as farcical and has demanded her immediate release.

9News Nigeria/CNA/Reuters

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