Myanmar’s ousted leader Suu Kyi faces five new corruption charges

Five new charges brought against the country’s ousted leader relate to the rental, purchase and maintenance of a helicopter used by her government.

Myanmar’s military-installed government has filed five new corruption charges against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi in connection with granting permits for the rental and purchase of a helicopter, an official said.

Aung San Suu Kyi, detained since last February’s military coup, is already on trial on five other corruption charges. Each is liable to 15 years in prison and a fine.

Suu Kyi has already faced other charges and was sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies and violate coronavirus restrictions.

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

The military government dismissed the criticism.

“No one is above the law. I just want to say that she would be tried according to the law,” government spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun said when asked about the matter during a briefing. a press conference on Friday.

The takeover of the military prevented Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party from starting a second five-year term in power.

The military said it acted because of widespread fraud in the November 2020 general election, but independent poll-watching groups argued there was little evidence of this.

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

According to the Political Prisoners Assistance Association, Myanmar’s rights watchdog, at least 1,469 people have been killed and more than 11,500 detained since the February 1 coup last year.

The five new charges relate to the rental, purchase and maintenance of a helicopter, said a judicial official familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to divulge details. information.

State media reported in December that Suu Kyi and Earn my int, who was president of her government, would be prosecuted under the anti-corruption law for renting a helicopter.

The official Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said that the Anti-Corruption Commission found that they had abused their power and caused a loss of public funds by neglecting to follow financial regulations by granting permission to the Minister of Protection. social, relief and resettlement era, Win Myat. Yes to rent and buy a helicopter.

Win Myat Aye is now Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management in the Government of National Unity established as a parallel administration by opponents of army rule. The underground organization is considered illegal by the army.

The other corruption charges that Suu Kyi is being prosecuted for relate to allegations of bribery and abuse of authority related to real estate transactions.

She is also on trial for violating the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.

The military government said she and her colleagues would also face trial for alleged voter fraud.

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