Aung San Suu Kyi, ousted Myanmar leader, handed five-year jail term for corruption

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Aung San Suu Kyi, former leader of Myanmar, has been sentenced to five years in prison for corruption.

Suu Kyi led Myanmar for five years before the country’s military toppled her government on February 1, 2021.

The coup came less than 10 years after the military handed over to a civilian government. Myanmar had been under military control until democratic reforms began in 2011.

According to Reuters, the military court ruled on Wednesday that Suu Kyi was guilty in the first of eleven corruption cases where she was accused of accepting $600,000 and 11.4 kg of gold from Phyo Min Thein, the former chief minister of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city.

The leader is charged with at least 18 offences which all combine to a jail term of nearly 190 years.

A source was said to have disclosed that the judge gave the verdict within moments of the court convening and gave no explanation for doing so.

Suu Kyi had called the accusations “absurd” and denied all charges against her. The source said she was displeased with the outcome of the proceedings and would appeal.

The European Union in a statement said the trial was politically motivated, and “represents another step towards the dismantling of the rule of law and a further blatant violation of human rights in Myanmar”.

“These proceedings are a clear attempt to exclude democratically elected leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy, from the inclusive dialogue process called for by ASEAN’s Five Point Consensus,” the statement reads.