Ousted Magway Region chief minister hit with fresh corruption charges 

The ousted chief minister of Magway Region, Dr Aung Moe Nyo, has been hit with fresh corruption charges that mean he now faces a prison sentence of up to 90 years, his lawyer has said. 

The 64-year-old, who like many senior members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) was detained during the February 1 military coup, already received a two-year prison sentence in June for incitement

But the junta has now added four corruption charges to the two filed against him last month, said lawyer Aung Naing. 

“They filed those cases one by one,” he said. “The cases are such that they couldn’t be combined into one casefile.” 

Among other things Aung Moe Nyo is accused of using a larger budget “than necessary” to build schools in Magway and of receiving a 50 million kyat bribe to allow a Denko petrol station to be built on a farm. 

The junta is also accusing him of using regional development funds without the permission of the union government, and of allowing local electricity producers to operate while their licenses were yet to be renewed. 

Aung Naing said his client was innocent of the charges, and that any supposed funding discrepancies highlighted in the case files were in the public interest. 

“He didn’t do it because he was corrupt. He said he and his regional cabinet spent [the money] for the well-being of the country,” the lawyer said.

Each of the six charges filed against Aung Moe Nyo under Section 55 of the Anti-Corruption Law carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. A judge has been examining the charges at a court inside Magway Prison.He said he and his regional cabinet spent it for the well-being of the cou

Shortly after he was placed under house arrest on February 1, the chief minister said in a livestream on Facebook that he refused to accept the coup. He was then sent to jail and later hit with the incitement charge.

Aung Naing said he hoped the court hearings for the corruption charges would conclude with a verdict by the end of December.

The junta has accused several top NLD figures of corruption, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Mandalay chief minister Dr Zaw Myint Maung, and Karen chief minister Nan Khin Htwe Myint, who was sentenced to 75 years in prison on November 9.

Thein Oo, justice minister for the underground National Unity Government, said it was clear to people in Myanmar and around the world that the accused NLD leaders had acted ethically.  

The military generals behind the charges were the real criminals and deserved the death sentence, he added. 

“They are the ones who conspired against the state,” he told Myanmar Now. “They’re just discrediting the official authorities as a desperate attempt to cover up their own crimes.” 

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