Myanmar Junta Jails NLD Vice Chair for 21 Years on Corruption Charges

By The Irrawaddy 20 June 2022

Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, the Mandalay Region Chief Minister under the ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) government, was sentenced to 21 years in prison on Friday on five counts of corruption by a junta court at Mandalay’s Obo Prison, according to his legal team.

The charges filed by the regime’s Anti-Corruption Commission at Mandalay Region High Court accused Dr. Zaw Myint Maung of taking bribes in exchange for business contracts and abusing his position of power to grant land permits for NLD offices.

The NLD vice chair was given five years each for three corruption charges over the alleged taking of kickbacks to cover costs when he received medical treatment in Bangkok in 2019 for leukemia, and three years each on two other corruption charges, said his legal team.

“We will appeal against the ruling because the court handed down the jail sentence without strong evidence,” said a member of Dr. Zaw Myint Maung’s legal team.

The 70-year-old politician is still on medication for leukemia and has now been sentenced to a total of 26 years in prison.

In December, he was sentenced to four years including two years for incitement under Article 505(b) of the Penal Code and two years on two charges under the Natural Disaster Management Law for breaches of COVID-19 regulations. Earlier this month, he was sentenced to one year in prison for alleged electoral fraud in the 2020 general election.

He faces an additional charge for alleged electoral fraud, with the junta court scheduled to deliver its verdict on Wednesday.

Despite his age and medical condition, Dr. Zaw Myint Maung has been held in Obo Prison since the February 2021 coup. He was previously imprisoned for 18 years by the former military regime.