Aung San Suu Kyi, the former leader of Myanmar, was given a six-year prison extension on Monday.
In a decision that may further infuriate Aung San Suu Kyi's 77-year-old followers, Myanmar's ousted leader was given a new prison term of six years on Monday.
According to persons acquainted with the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the proceedings were private, she was found guilty of four corruption charges relating to a charity named after her late mother by a special court inside a prison compound in the capital Naypyidaw. Suu Kyi has already received four felony convictions since the military overthrew her government in a coup in 2021, bringing her total prison time to 17 years, effectively ending any hope of her ever being released. of her making a comeback in politics while the junta is still in charge.
According to people familiar with the situation and state media, Mandalay Region High Court Judge Myint San ruled that Suu Kyi caused the State to lose more than 24.2 billion kyats ($13 million) by leasing land in Naypyidaw for the construction of the headquarters and related projects of the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, a charity that supported public health and education, at a lower price than the rate set by the Internal Revenue Department.
Prior court rulings incited outrage in the populace and stepped up violent resistance organized by the underground National Unity Government. Since the coup, junta forces have killed almost 2,200 citizens and detained over 15,000 more, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which claimed this month that prisoners in the nation are being denied their human rights. violations.
The junta had accused the ousted leader of taking bribes worth $550,000 from a businessman as a donation to the charity in 2019 and 2020 and using public donations to the foundation to renovate her mansion in Naypyidaw. Suu Kyi pled "not guilty" and refuted all charges.
According to the source, three additional high-ranking officials, including former Naypyidaw mayor Myo Aung and his deputy Ye Min Oo, received three-year prison terms for the same offenses. The State Administration Council's chief spokesman, Major General Zaw Min Tun, did not immediately return calls requesting comment on the decision.
Suu Kyi previously received a total of 11 years in prison for six offenses, including importing and using walkie-talkies without a license, violating Covid guidelines, and encouraging opposition against the military. While her backers claim the accusations are politically motivated, she has labeled the allegations "absurd."
Before the national symbol of democracy's first closed-door trial began in a state-owned complex in June 2021, she was relocated from her home to an undisclosed place. She was moved to a Naypyidaw Prison solitary confinement section established by the military a year later. Suu Kyi's attorneys are not permitted to speak to the media, and journalists are not permitted to see the court sessions.
Suu Kyi is accused of nine further offenses, including breaching the colonial-era Official Secrets Act and abusing her position of authority to ensure the victory of her political party in the 2020 elections. If she is found guilty, the additional counts, if punished consecutively, may increase her sentence by a maximum of 122 years.
Since the coup, the U.S. and its allies have slapped sanctions on Myanmar's military leaders and supporters. After the junta executed four pro-democracy campaigners in its first use of the death penalty in more than three decades, even other ASEAN members have been reluctant to work with Myanmar.
In a joint statement last week, the foreign ministers of ASEAN expressed their "deep disappointment" with the limited progress and lack of commitment of the Myanmar government to the prompt and full implementation of a five-point consensus reached earlier by Min Aung Hlaing, the military commander who overthrew the government in a coup in 2021.