Naypyidaw: A court in military-ruled Myanmar convicted the country’s former leader Aung San Suu Kyi of corruption and sentenced her to five years in prison in the first of several corruption cases against her. Suu Kyi, who was ousted by an army takeover last year, had denied the allegation that she had accepted $600,000 and seven gold bars in 2017-18 given to her as a bribe by a top political colleague.
Her supporters and independent legal experts consider her prosecution an unjust move to discredit Suu Kyi and legitimise the military’s seizure of power while keeping the 76-year-old elected leader from returning to an active role in politics. She has already been sentenced to six years’ imprisonment in other cases and faces 10 more corruption charges. The maximum punishment under the Anti-Corruption Act is 15 years in prison and a fine. Convictions in the other cases could bring sentences of more than 100 years in prison in total.
News of the verdict came from a legal official who asked not to be identified because he is not authorised to release such information. Suu Kyi’s trial in the capital, Naypyitaw, was closed to the media, diplomats and spectators, and her lawyers were barred from speaking to the press. Under a previous junta regime, Suu Kyi spent long spells under house arrest.