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regular-article-logo Thursday, 29 February 2024

Myanmar court convicts Aung San Suu Kyi on more corruption charges

Suu Kyi has been found guilty of every charge so far in the proceedings and sentenced to a total of 33 years in jail

Deutsche Welle Published 30.12.22, 11:16 AM

A Myanmar junta court convicted Aung San Suu Kyi on further five corruption charges, adding seven more years to her prison sentence, reports said.

The court session in army-ruled Myanmar was held behind closed doors and a gag order prevented lawyers from discussing the trial.

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Since the army overthrew Suu Kyi's elected government in February 2021, a number of charges, which critics call politically motivated, have resulted in her being sentenced to a total of 33 years in jail.

What are the charges against Suu Kyi?

The 77-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been found guilty of every charge brought against her by the junta, including corruption, possessing walkie-talkies, defying COVID-19 restrictions and violating the official secrets act. She can appeal the latest verdict.

In September, Suu Kyi and former-President Win Myint were convicted of trying to influence Myanmar's electoral commission ahead of the 2020 elections and sentenced to three years in prison.

She has called the charges brought against her absurd.

The junta, meanwhile, has argued that the accusations are true and that Suu Kyi has been granted a fair trial by an impartial court.

Western nations have condemned the proceedings as a charade intended to intimidate the junta's main foe, as the military-proposed election next year draws close.

Suu Kyi is currently being imprisoned at the Naypyitaw jail in a newly built separate facility that is close to the courthouse where her trial was conducted.

Now that Suu Kyi's legal battles are likely over, at least temporarily, it possibly opens the door to her being able to have visitors, something she hasn't been able to do since being imprisoned.

A statement from the military government responding to a UN request for a meeting said: ''Depending on the circumstances after the completion of the judiciary process, we will consider how to proceed.''

Between 1989 and 2010, Aung San was a political prisoner who was placed under house arrest for over 15 years.

Her nonviolent struggle for democracy earned Suu Kyi the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

Aftermath of the coup

The military's 49-year rule in Myanmar come to an end after Suu Kyi led the country for five years from 2015.

Her National League for Democracy won a landslide victory again in the 2020 election but was deposed in a military coup.

In July 2021, the junta declared the 2020 election results invalid, claiming it had discovered 11.3 million instances of fraud.

Independent observers dispute the claim.

UN condemns violence

The military coup last year saw mass protests and the following crackdown by Myanmar security forces left at least 2,685 civilians dead and 16,651 arrested, according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a non-governmental organization that tracks killings and arrests.

The UN Security Council demanded last week adopted a resolution demanding an end to violence in the country and that Suu Kyi and all other inmates who had been "arbitrarily detained" be freed.

This was the first UNSC resolution on the situation in Myanmar since the coup.

The resolution also implores all parties to strive toward opening channels of communication and reconciliation in order to find a peaceful solution to the issue.

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