Burma

Myanmar's Junta Punishes 2 Ex-NLD Ministers With More Jailtime 

By The Irrawaddy 23 December 2022

A junta court in Naypyitaw Prison on Wednesday handed jail sentences of two years to former Yangon Region minister U Ye Min Oo and 18 months to former Union Government Office Minister U Min Thu on charges of breach of trust as public servants.

U Ye Min Oo served as chair of Naypyitaw development, deputy Naypyitaw mayor and Yangon minister for planning and finance under the now-ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) government. He was elected to the regional assembly for Dagon Township in 2020 and was widely tipped to become Yangon Region’s chief minister.

U Ye Min Oo was detained in Yangon the day after the Feb. 1 coup last year. He was reportedly tortured badly during junta interrogation.

He has now been sentenced to a total of 25 years in prison. In June he was given 15 years on five counts after the regime accused him of corruption over loans issued to businesses when he chaired the Naypyitaw Development Bank. He was handed eight more years on other corruption charges related to allocation of land to the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, a charity chaired by jailed State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

U Min Thu, a former military colonel, has now been sentenced to a total seven years and six months.

The regime previously accused him of using 67.5 million kyats (about US$37,800) from a business owner to buy NLD-logo shirts and bags for the party’s election campaign in September 2020. He was given three years each for a corruption charge and abuse of power during the 2020 election.

U Min Thu was appointed to the Naypyitaw Council after the NLD took office in early 2016 and became deputy President’s Office minister in December of that year. He was appointed minister for the Union Government Office in late 2018 to supervise the General Administration Department, the backbone of the country’s public administrative mechanism. He was among the ex-military officials known to be close to Suu Kyi.

Breach of trust carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment under the colonial-era penal code.

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