Ousted President Denies Myanmar Junta’s Latest Corruption Charge
By The Irrawaddy 16 November 2022
Ousted president U Win Myint stood with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and pleaded not guilty to a regime charge of corruption over a helicopter purchase during a trial in Naypyitaw Prison on Tuesday, according to a source close to the court.
The charge relates to the rental and purchase of a helicopter for use in natural disasters and state affairs, including rescues and emergencies. Both U Win Myint and his co-defendant, detained State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, were present at the court hearing on Tuesday.
The military regime that ousted their National League for Democracy (NLD) government has filed five counts against both detainees under Section 55 of the Anti-Corruption Law, accusing the two of squandering government funds on the helicopter.
“President [U Win Myint] testified at the court and denied the accusations,” said the court source, adding that only U Win Myint spoke at Tuesday’s trial.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi appeared fit and well, said the source, dismissing rumors that the civilian leader had lost a few more pounds and was looking weary.
“There are various rumors [about her health]. Her health is normal for the time being. It is not true that she is suffering from fatigue,” he said.
The charges over the helicopter are the last in an array of charges filed by Myanmar’s regime against U Win Myin and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
If convicted, the pair face up to 15 years in prison.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has already been sentenced to 26 years in prison over 14 charges filed by the regime and U Win Myint has received five years over three charges.
The 77-year-old NLD leader is being kept in a tiny building at Naypyitaw Prison while U Win Myint is believed to be under house arrest at a secret location in Naypyitaw.