Tue, 18 Jan 2022

A court in Myanmar-Burma on Monday convicted Aung San Suu Kyi on three criminal charges, sentencing her to four years in prison in the latest of several cases against the ousted civilian leader.

Nobel laureate Suu Kyi has been detained since last February when her government was forced out in an early morning military coup, ending Myanmar's short-lived experiment with democracy.

The power grab by the generals triggered widespread dissent, which security forces sought to quell with mass detentions and bloody crackdowns in which more than 1,400 civilians have been killed, according to a local monitoring group.

Suu Kyi was on Monday found guilty on two charges of illegally importing and owning walkie-talkies and one of breaking coronavirus rules.

Junta spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun confirmed the verdicts and sentences and said Suu Kyi would remain under house arrest while other cases against her proceed.

The walkie-talkie charges stem from a military raid on Suu Kyi's home on the day of the coup, when the contraband equipment was allegedly discovered.

Monday's sentence adds to the penalties the court handed down in December when Suu Kyi was jailed for four years for incitement and breaching Covid-19 rules while campaigning.

Junta chief Min Aung Hlaing cut that sentence to two years and said she could serve her term under house arrest in the capital Naypyidaw.

Many cases still pending

Journalists have been barred from attending hearings, and Suu Kyi's lawyers have been prevented from speaking to the media.

Under a previous junta regime, Suu Kyi spent long spells under house arrest in her family mansion in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city.

Today, she is confined to an undisclosed location in the capital, with her link to the outside world limited to brief pre-trial meetings with her lawyers.

She still faces multiple counts of corruption -- each of which is punishable by 15 years in jail -- and of violating the official secrets act.

Last November, she and 15 other officials, including Myanmar's president Win Myint, were also charged with alleged electoral fraud during the 2020 polls.

Her National League for Democracy party won those elections in a landslide, trouncing a military-aligned party by a wider margin than the previous poll, held in 2015.

Originally published on RFI

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