Sunday, May 22

Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi again charged with corruption

Former leader Aung San Suu Kyi, November 22, 2019 during a conference in NaypyidawSTR

Former leader Aung San Suu Kyi, already sentenced to six years in detention by the junta in Burma, has again been charged with corruption, AFP learned on Saturday from sources close to the case.

Five new corruption charges were brought against the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate on Friday, the sources said.

According to media controlled by the military regime, she is accused of causing financial loss to the Burmese state by violating regulations on the rental and purchase of helicopters.

Former President of the Republic Win Myint has been charged with the same charges, the same sources added.

Asked, the junta was not immediately available to comment on this information.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained since the February 1, 2021 coup that ended a decade of democratic transition and pushed the country into chaos.

Since then, the former head of the civilian government, aged 76, has been the target of a multitude of legal proceedings (violation of a law on state secrets dating from the colonial era, electoral fraud, sedition, incitement to unrest public…).

She has already been sentenced to six years in prison in recent weeks and faces decades in prison altogether if convicted.

She is serving the beginning of her sentence under house arrest, in the place where she has been held incommunicado for nearly a year and where she must remain for the duration of her trial. The latter is held behind closed doors, his lawyers being prohibited from speaking to the press and international organizations.

“The unjust arrest, indictment and sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi (…) is an affront to justice and the rule of law”, recently lamented the spokesman of the American diplomacy Ned Price.

The Nobel committee, for its part, said it was “deeply worried” about the situation of the former leader.

Several of his relatives have already been sentenced to heavy sentences: 75 years in prison for a former minister, 20 years for one of his collaborators. Others went into exile or went into hiding.

The coup plunged the country into chaos. More than 1,400 civilians have been killed by security forces, according to a local NGO, and citizen militias have taken up arms against the junta across Burma.

The generals justified their push through by alleging massive fraud in the 2020 election, won by Aung San Suu Kyi’s party. They promised to organize a new poll in 2023.

The former leader, already sentenced to six years in prison, will not be able to participate if it actually takes place.

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