Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to 5 years in corruption case

Wednesday, 27 April 2022 (11:07 IST)
In the first verdict in several corruption cases leveled against her, Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi was found guilty of corruption charges and sentenced to five years in prison by a court in the military-ruled country on Wednesday.

A legal official confirmed the conviction to several news agencies, but was asked not to be named as the trial is being held behind closed doors.

Suu Kyi was charged with accepting a bribe of $600,000 (€564,000) and 11 kilograms (24.5 pounds) of gold from a former chief minister of Yangon city.

Phyo Min Thein, who was once a confidant of Suu Kyi, testified in October 2021 that he handed the payment to her.

Suu Kyi, who was ousted in a military coup last year, has dismissed the allegations against her. Combined with Wednesday's conviction, Myanmar courts have sentenced her to a total of 11 years in prison.

What charges is Suu Kyi facing?

Myanmar's military leaders have accused Suu Kyi of numerous offenses, ranging from alleged violations of state secrets and electoral laws to corruption.

The combined charges against her carry prison sentences that could total over 150 years. Prior to Wednesday's ruling, Suu Kyi had been sentenced to six years in prison after being found guilty of violating the country's coronavirus pandemic rules as well as illegally importing walkie-talkies.

The series of trials is set to last years. Legal proceedings have so far taken place behind closed doors and criticized by the international community as a sham.

Her legal team is also under a gag order, meaning they are barred from speaking with the press.

Myanmar's state of turmoil

Myanmar has descended into a state of turmoil since last February's military coup, which saw Suu Kyi removed from power and her government overthrown.

Suu Kyi has been since placed under house arrest, though she's now detained in an undisclosed location after being convicted.

Protesters have opposed the military's rule and crackdown, and some 1,700 people have been killed so far, according to local monitors.

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