Aung San Suu Kyi, aged 77, gets jail sentence extended to 33 years

NAYPYIDAW, 31 Dec 2022:

A military court in Myanmar yesterday sentenced ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to seven more years in prison – after finding her guilty of five corruption charges, a source close to the judicial process said.

The latest sentencing brought 77-year-old Suu Kyi’s jail term to a total of 33 years in the wake of a marathon of trials for almost 20 alleged crimes after the coup d’état on 1 Feb 2021.

Rights groups have alleged that the trial and charges against the democracy icon are a sham.

“The court handed down a seven-year sentence to Suu Kyi for five counts of corruption charges,” the source about the latest verdict. “She is in good health and will continue to appeal (against the verdict).”

The military-controlled court held the trial and announced the sentence behind closed doors in a Naypyidaw prison where the Nobel Peace Prize laureate is imprisoned.

The latest charges against Suu Kyi include alleged abuse of her position for the rental of land and the purchase and rental of helicopters.

The elected leader was already found guilty in a string of charges – including the illegal import of “walkie-talkies” in violation of the official secrets law, breaching Covid19 public safety rules and violating the official secrets act.

She has been sentenced to 26 years in prison.

Suu Kyi, who has spent years under house arrest under previous military rule, was arrested during the first hours of the uprising against the coup in 2021.

She was first sentenced in December last year.

Defence lawyers, barred by the military junta from speaking to the media, have dismissed all the charges against her.

Last week, the UN Security Council (UNSC) demanded the release of all political prisoners, including Suu Kyi.

The military seized power from her elected government and arrested almost all civilian leaders.

The military has allegedly used lethal force in response to pro-democracy protests and killed more than 2,680 people.

The first UNSC resolution on Myanmar in 74 years demanded an end to violence and called on the country’s military rulers to release all political prisoners,

India, China, and Russia abstained from the UNSC vote last week.

The coup plunged Myanmar into a deep political, economic, and social crisis, which has aggravated armed ethnic conflicts raging in the country for decades.