Ousted Myanmar leader Suu Kyi faces 5 new corruption charges

A legal official says Myanmar’s military-installed government has filed five new corruption charges against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi in connection with granting permits to rent and buy a helicopter

Via AP news wire
Friday 14 January 2022 14:39
Myanmar Suu Kyi
Myanmar Suu Kyi

Myanmar s military-installed government has filed five new corruption charges against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi in connection with granting permits to rent and buy a helicopter, a legal official said Friday.

Suu Kyi, who has been detained since last February’s military takeover, is already being tried on five other corruption charges. Each is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine.

She has also been charged with other offenses, and has been sentenced to six years' imprisonment after being convicted of illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions.

Her supporters and rights groups say the cases against her were contrived by the military to justify its takeover and prevent her from returning to politics.

The government has rejected the criticism.

“No one is above the law. I just want to say that she would be judged according to the law,” government spokesperson Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun said when asked about the matter at a news conference Friday.

The military’s seizure of power prevented Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party from beginning a second five-year term in power. The army said it acted because of widespread fraud in the November 2020 general election, but independent poll watching groups there is little proof of that.

The takeover was met with widespread popular protests, and Myanmar is now roiled by armed resistance to army rule.

The five new charges involve the hire, purchase and maintenance of a helicopter, said a legal official familiar with the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to release information.

State media had announced in December that Suu Kyi and Win Myint, who was president in her government, would be prosecuted under the Anti-Corruption Law in connection with hiring a helicopter.

The official Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said the Anti-Corruption Commission found that they abused their power and caused a loss of state funds by neglecting to follow financial regulations in granting permission to then-Social Welfare Relief and Resettlement Minister Win Myat Aye to rent and buy a helicopter.

Win Myat Aye is now minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management in the National Unity Government established as a parallel administration by opponents of army rule. It is an underground organization declared illegal by the military.

The other corruption charges for which Suu Kyi is being prosecuted involve alleged bribery and abuse of authority connected to real estate deals.

She is also being tried on the charge of violating the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years. The government has said she and colleagues will also be tried for alleged electoral fraud.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in