Myanmar Junta Hits Suu Kyi With New Corruption Charge

By The Irrawaddy 1 December 2021

Myanmar’s military regime has filed a new corruption charge against ousted State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint. The charge relates to the rental and purchase of a helicopter for use in the management of natural disasters and state affairs, including rescues and emergencies.

On August 27, the junta charged U Win Myat Aye with the same case. He served as Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement under the ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) government.

The case claims that U Win Myat Aye caused a loss to state funds by not following existing laws and financial regulations when renting and buying the helicopter. U Win Myat Aye is now Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management for the parallel civilian National Unity Government, which was formed after the junta’s February 1 coup.

On Tuesday night, the regime-controlled state broadcaster announced that further investigation of the case had revealed that State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint granted permission for the helicopter’s rental and purchase also without following existing laws and financial regulations.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint have now been charged under Article 55 of the Anti-Corruption Law, violation of which carries a maximum prison term of 15 years.

Both leaders have been detained since the coup along with other senior NLD officials, and already face numerous other cases.

76-year-old Daw Aung San Suu Kyi faces 11 charges carrying potential prison terms totaling more than 100 years. The cases include illegal possession of imported walkie-talkies, sedition, violation of COVID-19 restrictions, breaches of the colonial-era Official Secrets Act and corruption cases.

President U Win Myint already faces two charges including alleged violation of COVID-19 restrictions and inciting public unrest. He and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi have denied all charges against them.

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