The leader of the ousted Myanmar government, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been convicted of corruption again. This time she was sentenced to seven years in prison by a court in the military-led country. Win Myint, the head of Suu Kyi’s government, was given the same sentence.
This was the last series of trials against Suu Kyi. The 77-year-old democratically elected head of government was sentenced to 33 years in prison over 19 cases.
The case, which ended today, revolves around five counts of corruption. One of them is about a helicopter: Suu Kyi abused her position in the eyes of the court by allowing a cabinet member to buy that plane. The president of the ousted government contradicts these allegations and her lawyers are expected to appeal.
The lawsuits against Suu Kyi, according to human rights groups, aim to silence her in the run-up to elections, which the military has promised in 2023. The hearings were not open to journalists, diplomats and the public. Moreover, the lawyers are not allowed to comment on the case in the media.
Suu Kyi had previously been convicted of sedition, violating Corona rules and fraud in the 2020 election, which she convincingly won. There was no evidence of electoral fraud. She was also punished for importing and possessing walkie-talkies.
Suki, who won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, was overthrown in the military coup in February 2021 and placed under house arrest. Her trial began in June of that year. She has been in solitary confinement in a prison in the capital, Naypyidaw, since last summer.
The regional branch of Human Rights Watch called the court’s rulings “ridiculous” and says the judge’s sentences amount to life in prison. The organization calls on the international community to impose sanctions that affect the military council’s revenues from oil and gas.
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