A military-controlled court in Myanmar has sentenced ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to a further three years in jail for corruption, according to reports, meaning she now faces a total of 26 years in prison.
Aung San Suu Kyi has faced a raft of legal cases after the military’s seizure of power in February 2021, from incitement and multiple corruption charges, to illegal possession of walkie-talkies and breaking Covid restrictions.
Her legal team has rejected the cases as absurd, while rights groups and observers have described them as an attempt to remove her from politics.
The military has sought to justify its 2021 coup by alleging widespread fraud in the 2020 election – which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won by a landslide. Such claims have been rejected by independent observers.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported the former leader had been found guilty of corruption and sentenced to three years in prison. The case related to allegations Aung San Suu Kyi accepted bribes from a businessman, an unnamed source told Reuters. She received three-year jail sentences on two charges, to be served concurrently.
Information about court proceedings is limited because the media are unable to access courts, and lawyers have been banned from talking to journalists.
Aung San Suu Kyi, 77, has been held in detention since the coup, and is currently being kept in solitary confinement in the capital, Naypyidaw.
The leader is among 12,623 people being held by the military, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners Burma, which monitors arrests and killings.
At least 40 Burmese journalists are among those imprisoned. Last week, Toru Kubota, a Japanese film-maker, was sentenced to seven years in prison for violating the electronic transactions law, and three years for incitement, a sentenced described as “outrageous” by the Committee to Protect Journalists, which has called for his release.
Other foreign nationals being held include Australian academic Sean Turnell, who served as Aung San Suu Kyi’s economic adviser. He was recently sentenced to three years in prison for violating the Official Secrets Act. His wife Ha Vu described it as heartbreaking for their family.
Britain’s former ambassador to Myanmar Vicky Bowman, along with her husband Htein Lin, a prominent artist, was sentenced to one year in prison last month for violating immigration laws, a verdict that was widely condemned.