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Ousted Burmese leader Suu Kyi appears in court on corruption charge

Maya Taylor

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FILE PHOTO: Saw Wunna for Unsplash

Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically-elected former leader of Myanmar who was ousted in a military coup last year, has appeared in court on a corruption charge. The case is one of multiple cases being brought against her, with the threat of lengthy prison time if she’s found guilty.

According to comments made to Reuters by an unnamed source close to her trial, Suu Kyi has appeared in court accused of channelling charity funds into real estate. Since being ousted and arrested in the February 2021 coup, Suu Kyi has been slapped with several corruption charges, which in total could see her sentenced to nearly 190 years in prison.

A verdict is expected to be handed down today, after a spokesman for the Burmese military said the verdict was postponed from yesterday. The charge, the first of 11, carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years. Suu Kyi is accused of accepting cash payments of US$600,000, along with 11 kilograms of gold, from former Yangon chief minister, Phyo Min Thein. She has dismissed the accusations as, “absurd”.

Her supporters say the accusations are trumped up in a bid to end the political future of the woman who has led Myanmar’s fight against military dictatorship. The numerous charges against her range from violating electoral and state secrets laws to incitement and corruption. Her lawyers are under a gag order and the international community have decried the trials as farcical.

The Burmese military insists Suu Kyi is being given due process by an independent court.

SOURCE: Reuters

 

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