Burma

Myanmar’s Military Junta Launches Corruption Probe of Suu Kyi and President

By The Irrawaddy 11 March 2021

Myanmar’s military regime has launched corruption probes targeting the country’s ousted leaders, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, and a series of chief ministers from National League for Democracy (NLD) government.

During a press conference Thursday, the regime’s spokesman, Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun, repeated allegations that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi accepted $600,000 and more than 21 pounds of gold from detained Yangon region chief U Phyo Min Thein during the period between December 2017 and March 2018.

“As it was found that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi personally accepted them, the government’s Anti-Corruption Commission is now probing it,” he said, without elaboration.

He also added that President U Win Myint and first lady Daw Cho Cho are being investigated for allegedly taking bribes from unidentified business people.

State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint have already been charged by the junta since their arrests following a coup on Feb. 1.

The pair has been held in custody since early February.

Early last month, the junta filed four charges against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi ranging from incitement to using a walkie-talkie without a license to breaching COVID-19 restrictions. The charges carry a total of nine years’ imprisonment upon conviction.

The president was also charged under the Natural Disaster Management Law last month for allegedly breaching COVID-19 restrictions during the election campaign and violating Article 505(b) for incitement early in February.

If found guilty of the alleged corruption, each would face an additional maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

On Thursday, the regime spokesperson also said three detained chief ministers of the NLD government –Dr. Zaw Myint Maung of Mandalay Region, Dr. Myint Naing of Sagaing Region, Dr. Aye Zan of Mon State– are being investigated for corruption. Prior to these latest probes, all of them had been charged with incitement under the article 505 (b) of the penal code.

Following the coup, mass protests against the regime have erupted across the country. People demand the release of their leaders as well as others detained by the junta while denouncing the military’s rule in the country.

The regime has responded to the protests heavy-handedly, killing more than 70 people.

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