Myanmar’s junta added five new corruption charges against the ousted civilian leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday to the five she already faces.
With the new charges, the 76-year-old faces a potential combined prison term of 164 years
According to court sources in Naypyitaw, where she is being tried, Friday’s charges relate to the rent and purchase of a helicopter for use in the management of natural disasters and official affairs by her government. Each corruption charge carries up to 15 years in prison.
The same five charges were also brought against President U Win Myint in his first corruption case.
The junta has barred all five of State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers from speaking to the media since October, so details of the court hearings and her whereabouts are unknown.
The junta-appointed anti-corruption commission in November accused Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Win Myint of breaching the Anti-Corruption Law. The commission alleged the two broke the law and wasted government funds when they granted permission to rent and buy the helicopter.
The Nobel peace laureate was detained during the Feb. 1 coup. She was sentenced to six years in prison under five criminal charges. Since last month’s verdicts, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has reportedly appeared in court wearing a prison uniform of a white top and brown longyi.
She is also accused of breaching the Official Secret Acts, which carries up to 14 years in prison.
The junta also announced plans to sue her for alleged voter fraud in the 2020 general election which brought another landslide victory for her National League for Democracy (NLD).
The junta claims the election was seriously flawed, pointing to alleged voter list errors.
International observers, including from the Carter Center, and domestic monitoring groups said the polls were free and fair. The Asian Network for Free Elections said the outcome of the vote was “by and large, representative of the will of the people of Myanmar”.
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