Myanmar court jails Aung San Suu Kyi, 77, for another six years for ‘corruption’ taking ousted leader’s total prison time to 17 years as US calls verdict ‘an affront to justice’
- Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi jailed for a further six years
- The leader of Myanmar’s democracy arrested following military coup last year
- She was already sentenced to 11 years in jail for corruption, incitement against the military, breaching Covid-19 rules and breaking a telecommunications law
- US slammed the latest sentencing as an ‘affront to justice and the rule of law’
A Myanmar junta court jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi for six years for corruption on Monday, a source close to the case said.
The sentence, on top of an 11 year term she was sentenced to for various charges the junta foisted upon her following their anti-democratic coup, takes the ousted leader’s prison time to 17 years.
Suu Kyi, 77, has been detained since the generals toppled her government on February 1 last year, ending the Southeast Asian country’s brief period of democracy.
She has since been hit with a series of charges, including violating the official secrets act, corruption and electoral fraud. She faces decades in jail if convicted on all counts.
Suu Kyi was sentenced to ‘six years imprisonment under four anti-corruption charges’, said the source, who requested anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
Each charge carried a maximum of 15 years in jail. Suu Kyi was sentenced to three years for each, but three of the sentences would be served concurrently, the source said.
A Myanmar junta court jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi for six years for corruption on Monday, a source close to the case said
Detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi (L) and detained president Win Myint (C) during their first court appearance in Naypyidaw, since the military detained them in a coup on February on May 21, 2021
Demonstrators hold placards with pictures of Aung San Suu Kyi as they protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, February 22,
Suu Kyi was sentenced to ‘six years imprisonment under four anti-corruption charges’, said the source, who requested anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media
She appeared in good health and did not make any statement following the sentencing, they added.
A junta spokesman could not be reached for comment.
The Nobel laureate had already been sentenced to 11 years in jail for corruption, incitement against the military, breaching Covid-19 rules and breaking a telecommunications law.
Journalists have been barred from attending the court hearings and Suu Kyi’s lawyers have been banned from speaking to the media.
The United States slammed the latest sentencing as an ‘affront to justice and the rule of law’.
‘We call on the regime to immediately release Aung San Suu Kyi and all those unjustly detained, including other democratically elected officials,’ a State Department spokesperson said.
The coup sparked widespread protests and unrest, and renewed fighting with established ethnic rebel groups.
Dozens of ‘People’s Defence Forces’ have also sprung up to fight the junta and have surprised the military with their effectiveness, analysts say.
Pictured: Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar’s armed forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, at the IX Moscow conference on International Security in Moscow, June 23, 2021
Pictured: Police use slingshots as security forces crack down on demonstrations by protesters against the military coup in Yangon on February 28, 2021 a week after the military coup
Anti-coup protesters stand at a barricade as they clash with security forces on Bayint Naung Bridge in Mayangone, Yangon, Myanmar March 16, 2021
Aung San Suu Kyi, left, walks with the man who has deposed and jailed her, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, right, on May 6, 2016
According to a local monitoring group, the crackdown has left more than 2,000 civilians dead and seen some 17,000 arrested.
Suu Kyi has been the face of Myanmar’s democratic hopes for more than 30 years, but her earlier 11-year sentence already meant she was likely to miss elections the junta says it plans to hold by next year.
‘Immune from domestic and international outrage, the punishment trials against Suu Kyi and her supporters are designed to erase the democratic past,’ independent Myanmar analyst David Mathieson said.
‘Their intent is clear to everyone it seems, everyone but the international community.’
In June, Suu Kyi was transferred from house arrest to a prison in the capital Naypyidaw, where her trial continues in a courthouse inside the prison compound.
Members of the Mandalay People’s Defence forces take part in training at their camp in Mandalay, Myanmar on July 13, 2022
The coup sparked widespread protests and unrest, and renewed fighting with established ethnic rebel groups
Dozens of ‘People’s Defence Forces’ have also sprung up to fight the junta and have surprised the military with their effectiveness, analysts say
She remains confined to the jail, with her link to the outside world limited to brief pre-trial meetings with lawyers.
Many of her political allies have also been arrested since the coup, with one chief minister sentenced to 75 years in jail.
Last month, the junta stoked renewed international condemnation when it executed Phyo Zeya Thaw, a former lawmaker from her National League for Democracy (NLD) party, for offences under anti-terrorism laws.
Suu Kyi learned of the execution at a pre-trial hearing, a source with knowledge of the matter said, but has yet to speak on the matter.
The junta says it seized power following massive fraud during 2020 elections in which the NLD trounced a military-backed party and which international observers said were largely free and fair.