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Myanmar: Suu Kyi jail sentence extended by 3 years

October 12, 2022

Myanmar's junta has accused former leader Aung San Suu Kyi of accepting bribes from a businessman. The extended sentence leaves her with a 26-year total prison term.

Suu Kyi during a ceremony in February 2018.
Suu Kyi has been imprisoned since the night of the military coup.Image: Aung Shine Oo/AP Photo/picture alliance

Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced by a court to another three years in prison for corruption, a legal source told news agencies on Wednesday. 

The source added that she appeared in good health, and will make an appeal against the charges.

The 77-year-old had already been sentenced to 23 years imprisonment after being convicted of various charges such as illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies, violating coronavirus restrictions, breaching the country's official secrets act, sedition, election fraud and five corruption charges.

What was Suu Kyi convicted for?

The Nobel laureate was accused of accepting bribes of $550,000 (€566,310) from businessman Maung Weik. She received three-year jail sentences on two charges, to be served concurrently, meaning the total prison time amounts to three years.

Weik appeared in a video televised by a military broadcaster last year claiming he had given Suu Kyi bribes over several years. He also said he had donated money to senior members of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party. 

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Her cases have been conducted in closed courts by the Myanmar junta, with reporters barred from court hearings. 

Suu Kyi faces at least 18 other charges, ranging from bribery to election violations, with the potential combined maximum terms adding to nearly 190 years. She has denied any wrongdoing.

She is being held in a prison complex in solitary confinement in Naypyitaw.

Critics say the charges against Suu Kyi are politically motivated and meant to keep her out of power.

Myanmar's military seized power in February 2021 after detaining Suu Kyi and other democratically elected leaders who had been in a power-sharing government with the military.

More than 2,000 people have been killed and another 17,000 arrested by security forces since the coup, according to local monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. 

Around 14.4 million people — roughly one-fourth of Myanmar's population — are estimated to have been displaced from their homes and to require humanitarian assistance.

tg/wmr (AFP, AP, Reuters)