Myanmar Junta Jails Ousted NLD Chief Minister for 21 Years Over Alleged Corruption

By The Irrawaddy 1 March 2022

A junta court sentenced Sagaing Region’s ousted chief minister, Dr. Myitn Naing, on Monday to a further 21 years in prison in addition to an earlier sentence of two years.

The 71-year-old was convicted by the junta court on seven charges of alleged corruption which each carried three years under Article 55 of the Anti-Corruption Law.

The junta accused the chief minister, who gained in popularity while in office, of accepting gifts, mismanaging government tenders and failing to collect taxes from gold mining companies, which lost government revenue.

The junta previously sentenced him to two years imprisonment in December under alleged incitement charges for issuing statements calling the public to resist the regime.

The central executive committee member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) has been detained in Monywa Prison since shortly after the February coup.

“He is in good health. We are not sure yet whether he will appeal to the court,” a court source said.

Dr. Myint Naing won seats at the 1990, 2015 and 2020 general elections and in the 2012 by-elections and became Sagaing chief minister in 2016 under the NLD-led government which was toppled by the military coup.

Of the 14 state and regional chief ministers appointed by the NLD, 13 were detained on Feb. 1, 2021, and are still in military custody, prison or under house arrest. The Chin State chief minister was reported to have fled across the border into India.

Almost all the chief ministers have been charged under Article 55 of the Anti-Corruption Law and face tough jail terms. Many of them also face other charges.

Yangon Region chief minister U Phyo Min Thein is the only one who has not been hit with any legal charges by the junta.

Karen State chief minister Daw Nan Khin Htwe Myint was sentenced to 80 years in prison on corruption and incitement charges, which was halved on February 12.

Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, the detained Mandalay chief minister and NLD deputy chairman, was sentenced for allegedly breaching COVID-19 rules and incitement.

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