Court in Myanmar Sentences Deposed Suu Kyi to Five Years in Jail

A court in Myanmar has sentenced deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi to five years in jail on Wednesday after finding her guilty in the first of 11 corruption cases she faces.

The Nobel laureate and figurehead of Myanmar’s opposition to military rule is charged with at least 18 offences carrying combined maximum jail terms of nearly 190 years, all but killing off any chance of a political comeback.

The judge in the capital, Naypyitaw, handed down the verdict within moments of the court convening and gave no explanation, said the source, who declined to be identified because the trial is being held behind closed doors, with information restricted.

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Suu Kyi, who has attended all of her hearings, was displeased with the outcome and would appeal, the source said.

The 76-year-old led Myanmar for five years during a short period of tentative democracy before being forced from power in a coup in February 2021 by the military, which has ruled the former British colony for five of the past six decades.

It was not immediately clear if she would be transferred to a prison to serve the sentence.

Since her arrest she has been held in an undisclosed location, where junta chief Min Aung Hlaing previously said she could stay after convictions in December and January for comparatively minor offences that led to a six-year term.

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The military government’s spokesperson Zaw Min Tun could not be reached for comment, and made no mention of the Suu Kyi ruling on Wednesday during a televised news conference that ran more than 3-1/2 hours.

The latest case centred on accusations that Suu Kyi accepted 11.4 kg (402 oz) of gold and cash payments totalling $600,000 from her protege-turned-accuser, former chief minister of the city of Yangon, Phyo Min Thein.

Suu Kyi had called the accusations “absurd” and denies all charges against her, which include violations of electoral and state secrets laws, incitement and corruption.

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