News reports from Myanmar say authorities have filed new corruption charges against ousted former senior state minister Aung San Suu Kyi.
The state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported Thursday (June 10) that the anti-graft commission found evidence that Aung San Suu Kyi, 75, “used her position to commit corruption” in connection with previous allegations that she accepted $600,000 in cash and gold in illegal payments, as well as new allegations of land abuse involving her charitable foundation.
The report said the charges against Aung San Suu Kyi are based on Article 55 of the Anti-Corruption Law, which means a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison if convicted.
In a written statement provided to VOA’s Burmese Desk, Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyer Khin Maung Soe denied the new charges, calling them “absurd” and “baseless.
Khin Maung Soe said, “Those who accuse her of greed and corruption are simply spitting in the air.”
She has been imprisoned since the Burmese military toppled Aung San Suu Kyi’s democratically elected government on Feb. 1. She also faces multiple criminal charges for possessing an unregistered walkie-talkie, violating restrictions on the new crown epidemic, violating electronic communications laws and inciting public discontent.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate is scheduled to appear in court next Monday in Naypyitaw, Myanmar’s capital, on both charges.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s democratically elected government was overthrown nearly three months after her National League for Democracy (NLD) won a resounding victory in Myanmar’s parliamentary elections. Military authorities accused the NLD of staging a coup by committing massive fraud in last year’s Nov. 8 election, but the civilian-run election commission denied the accusation. The military authorities have threatened to dissolve the NLD over the allegations.
The coup by Myanmar’s military authorities led to fierce anti-junta protests and clashes between several ethnic armed groups and the junta across the country.
According to the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners Tracking Casualties and Arrests, the junta has killed more than 800 protesters and bystanders since seizing power in an effort to suppress the protests.