Myanmar’s Supreme Court to Hear Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Appeals

By The Irrawaddy 21 April 2023

Myanmar’s junta-controlled Supreme Court of the Union on Wednesday agreed to hear appeals regarding the rulings against jailed State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint, according to sources.

The Supreme Court will hear appeals regarding five cases of corruption which both Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Win Myint were convicted of. The cases involved the alleged misuse of public funds for the rental and subsequent purchase of a helicopter. The court has also allowed Suu Kyi’s and U Win Myint’s appeals against their conviction for electoral fraud under Section 130(a) of the colonial-era Penal Code.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s appeal over her conviction for violating the Official Secrets Act will also be heard by the Supreme Court.

“Previously, their appeals were rejected by way of summary trial. But the Supreme Court has allowed their appeals now. Lawyers of the two will do whatever can be done regarding their convictions,” said a source familiar with the matter.

It is not yet known when the Supreme Court will start hearing the appeals.

The Supreme Court has rejected appeals from Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Win Myint regarding other cases, and the pair have lodged further appeals to the Chief Justice. It is not yet clear if the Chief Justice has agreed to reconsider.

The five corruption charges relate to the ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) government’s rental and purchase of a helicopter for use during natural disasters and state affairs, including rescues and emergencies. The military regime alleged that U Win Myint and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi broke the law and squandered government funds on the helicopter. The pair were sentenced to seven years in prison in December 2022 after being found guilty by a junta court.

U Win Myint and Suu Kyi were also given three years with labor under Section 130(a) of the Penal Code for alleged vote rigging in the 2020 general election which the NLD won by a landslide.

Suu Kyi was also convicted of violating the Official Secrets Act, for which she was given an additional three years by the regime. Her co-defendants included the Australian NLD government economic advisor Sean Turnell, planning and finance minister U Soe Win, his deputy U Hset Aung and former planning and finance minister U Kyaw Win.

Sean Turnell, U Soe Win and U Kyaw Win were subsequently released under general amnesties.

In total, 78-year-old NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was given a total of 33 years on 19 charges filed by the regime. She is currently being held in solitary confinement in Napyitaw Prison. U Win Myint, the 71-year-old deposed president, was given 12 years on eight charges. He is currently being held in Taungoo Prison.

There were rumors that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was to be moved from Naypyitaw Prison to house arrest as part of the general amnesty granted by the junta on April 17 to mark Myanmar New Year’s Day.

But sources said that food packages for Suu Kyi were delivered to Naypyitaw Prison on April 17, suggesting that she remains in the jail in the capital.