Myanmar’s ex-leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced on Wednesday to five years in jail, according to a source with knowledge of the closed trial proceedings. She has already been handed a six-year term for previous convictions.
In this most recent case, Suu Kyi denied accusations made by former NLD chief minister for Yangon, Phyo Min Thein, who says that he bribed her with gold and US$600,000 for business favors.
Charges against her include breaking COVID regulations, importing and possessing unlicensed walkie-talkies and going against the military, to name a few. There are a lot more cases against her to unpack, and the maximum sentencing for all of her remaining cases could add up to around 190 years total.
Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi has said the allegations are “absurd," denying all the charges leveled against her.
“We the government don’t interfere with the judiciary, so the court independently made this decision in accordance with the law,” said Major General Zaw Min Tun, lead spokesman for the State Administration Council.
“The days of Aung San Suu Kyi as a free woman are effectively over. Myanmar’s junta, and the country’s kangaroo courts are walking in lockstep to put Aung San Suu Kyi away for what could ultimately be the equivalent of a life sentence, given her advanced age," said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch. “Destroying popular democracy in Myanmar also means getting rid of Aung San Suu Kyi, and the junta is leaving nothing to chance."