Aung San Suu Kyi gets 5 years jail for corruption charges

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Aung San Suu Kyi gets 5 years jail for corruption charges

Bangkok : In the first of several corruption cases against her, a Myanmar court convicted Aung San Suu Kyi of corruption and sentenced her to five years in prison on Wednesday.

Suu Kyi, who was deposed by an army coup last year, had denied receiving gold and hundreds of thousands of dollars as a bribe from a top political ally. Suu Kyi's supporters and independent legal experts believe her prosecution is an unjust attempt to discredit her and legitimise the military's takeover of power while preventing the 76 year-old elected leader from returning to politics.

In other cases, she has already been sentenced to six years in prison, and she now faces ten more corruption charges. The Anti-Corruption Act carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine. If convicted in the other cases, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has already spent years in detention for defying military rule could face a total sentence of more than 100 years in prison.

The verdict was announced on Wednesday by a legal official who asked not to be identified. The trial of Aung San Suu Kyi in the capital, Naypyitaw, was closed to the press, diplomats, and spectators, and her lawyers were forbidden from speaking to the press.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won a landslide victory in the 2020 general election, but lawmakers were not allowed to take their seats when the army seized power on Feb 1, 2021, arresting Suu Kyi and many of her party's and government's senior officials. Although the army claimed it acted because of widespread electoral fraud, independent election observers found no significant irregularities.

Suu Kyi is also facing charges of violating the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison, and of election fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison