Myanmar junta hits Suu Kyi with graft charges

Myanmar junta hits Suu Kyi with graft charges


Yangon: According to official media reports on Thursday, the Burmese military government used corruption charges to crack down on the deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, accusing her of accepting illegal payments of gold and more than US$500,000 in cash.

Since the generals deposed Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, the country has been in turmoil. Nearly 850 civilians were killed in the brutal crackdown by the security forces. There have been protests against the coup d’état almost every day.

The 75-year-old Nobel Prize winner has been detained since the coup, and he is facing a wide range of criminal charges, including sedition and violation of colonial secrecy laws.

The latest allegation involves the former chief minister of Yangon region accusing Aung San Suu Kyi of illegally accepting his 600,000 U.S. dollars in cash and about 11 kilograms of gold.

The Anti-Corruption Commission found evidence that Suu Kyi had committed “corruption using her rank”, according to the Global New Light of Myanmar, a state-run newspaper.

“So she was charged under Anti-Corruption Law section 55.”

She is also accused of abusing her authority when renting two areas of land for her charitable foundation.

After weeks of legal wrangling, two of Suu Kyi’s trials are due to start in earnest next week, hearing evidence from witnesses.

In Naypyidaw, the remote capital purpose built by the previous military regime, her trial will start on Monday on charges of violating restrictions during last year’s election campaign and possessing unlicensed walkie-talkies.

In another case, scheduled to begin on June 15, she was charged with inciting rebellion along with the deposed President Win Min and another senior member of her National League for Democracy (NLD) political party.

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