A junta-controlled court sentenced detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to seven more years in prison on Friday on the last of nearly 20 charges levelled against her since her ouster nearly two years ago.
Suu Kyi, who has been in regime custody since the military seized power in a coup on February 1, 2021, was found guilty on five charges of corruption in connection with her administration’s rental and purchase of helicopters for disaster relief management, court sources reported.
Since the overthrow of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party’s elected government, she has been convicted on 19 charges—12 of them based on accusations of corruption during her time in office.
The latest convictions mean the deposed 77-year-old state counsellor is now facing a total of 33 years behind bars.
Judge Myint San of the Mandalay Region High Court handed down the sentences at a closed-door hearing inside the Naypyitaw Detention Centre, where Suu Kyi is currently being held.
Suu Kyi was reportedly given three-year sentences on four of the charges, to be served concurrently, and four years for the fifth charge. Further details were not available due to a gag order imposed on her lawyers.
Late last year, the junta accused Dr. Win Myat Aye, the NLD administration’s former minister for social welfare, relief and resettlement, of failing to follow official procedures for the purchase of a helicopter. He also used another one improperly with the approval of Suu Kyi and deposed President Win Myint, the regime claimed.
The junta’s Anti-Corruption Commission alleged that these irregularities resulted in a loss of 23 billion kyat ($12.9m) in state funds, state media reported at that time.
Suu Kyi and Win Myint, who were co-defendants in the case, both pleaded not guilty on all five charges. The former president was also handed a seven-year sentence.
The court sources said the ousted leaders would appeal their verdicts.
According to the sources, Suu Kyi will be moved from the current detention centre to another location now that her trials have been concluded. It was unclear when that would happen or where she would be transferred to, but the sources said it was likely she would be moved to Yangon’s notorious Insein Prison.
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