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Myanmar coup: Aung San Suu Kyi corruption trial verdict delayed
Myanmar’s military junta has sought to press criminal charges on the country’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who remains detained. The junta court this week postponed its verdict on the Nobel laureate’s corruption trial.
A spokesperson for the junta, Zaw Min Tun, told AFP that the verdict on the trial for Aung San Suu Kyi which is expected to be announced this week would be postponed. The spokesperson did not disclose the reason for the postponement as well as when the verdict was now set to be announced.
Journalists were not allowed to attend the special hearings in the military-established capital Naypyidaw and the ousted leader’s lawyers were not allowed to speak to the media. The corruption trial centers on the accusation that Aung San Suu Kyi accepted bribes of $600,000 in cash and gold bars from the former chief minister of Yangon.
Aung San Suu Kyi and officials of Myanmar’s democratically elected government were ousted in February 2021 when the military generals seized power. The military also engaged in a brutal crackdown on the citizens who have opposed the coup, killing over 1,000 people and detaining thousands more among other actions.
Aung San Suu Kyi is facing 10 corruption charges, each charge would have a 15-year maximum prison sentence. The ousted leader is also accused of breaching the official secrets act alongside Australian economic policy adviser Sean Turnell, who is also detained by the junta.
Aung San Suu Kyi is already sentenced to six years in prison for incitement against the military and breaching COVID-19 protocols as well as violating a telecommunications law.
Early this month, the junta announced its granting of amnesty to hundreds of prisoners as the country marks its New Year tradition. However, no political prisoners were among those who were released to their loved ones despite the military junta’s pledge to restore peace this year.
The foreign prisoners that are granted amnesty would be deported from the country, according to Lieutenant General Aung Din Lwe, and a prisons official said that most of the prisoners who were released were drug offenders and those who committed petty crimes.