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Myanmar junta hits Suu Kyi with five new charges

January 16, 2022
Myanmar junta hits Suu Kyi with five new charges

YANGON A Myanmar junta court has hit ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi with five new corruption charges related to the alleged hiring and purchase of a helicopter, sources close to the case told AFP.

The Nobel laureate, 76, has been detained since the February 1 coup last year which triggered mass protests and a bloody crackdown on dissent with more than 1,400 civilians killed, according to a local monitoring group.

Suu Kyi is facing a raft of criminal and corruption charges -- including violating the country’s official secrets laws -- and if convicted of all of them could face sentences tallying more than 100 years of prison.

The charges were levelled against Suu Kyi on Friday afternoon and related to the hire, maintenance and purchase of a helicopter, the sources said.

Former Myanmar president U Win Myint was also hit with the same charges, they said.

In December, state newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar said the pair would be prosecuted for not following financial regulations and causing a loss to the state over the rent and purchase of a helicopter for former government minister Win Myat Aye.

He rented the helicopter from 2019 to 2021 and used it for only 84.95 hours out of 720 rental hours, the paper said. He is now in hiding, along with other former lawmakers.