Suu Kyi was sentenced to three years in prison for vote fraud

International Desk

Myanmar’s ousted former leader Aung San Suu Kyi was found guilty of election fraud on Friday and a judge sentenced her to three years of rigorous imprisonment. The news agency Reuters reported the information citing a source related to his secret trial.

The Nobel laureate and prominent figure opposed to Myanmar’s decades-long military rule has been detained since a coup early last year and has already been sentenced to more than 17 years in prison. He denied all the allegations leveled against him.

On Friday, he was convicted of fraud in the November 2020 general election. His party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won an overwhelming legislative majority, defeating a political party backed by the powerful military, the trial said.

The military ousted Suu Kyi in a February 2021 coup, saying her party won a landslide victory in the 2020 election. However, there was massive vote fraud in the election.

Citing the unnamed source, Reuters reported that it was not clear whether there would be a stiff prison sentence. But co-accused ousted President Win Myint was given the same sentence.

A spokesman for the ruling military council did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The junta says Suu Kyi is being given due process.

The military seized power in February 2021 to prevent Suu Kyi’s NLD from forming a new government after elections. They said there were allegations of fraud but it was not properly investigated.

The NLD has denied fraud and said it won transparently.

Suu Kyi has been on trial for more than a year on charges ranging from corruption and sedition to leaking official secrets. His combined maximum sentence for all of them is more than 190 years.

His trial in the capital Naypyitaw has been held behind closed doors and the junta’s statements on the trial have been limited. A gag order has been issued against Suchi’s lawyers.

Reuters has published a summary of his case based on information from the closed-door trial. According to reports, Suu Kyi has denied wrongdoing. The charges brought against him are-

A letter sent by his side to international organizations while he was in detention urged them not to recognize the military government. The court charged him with intent to incite and sentenced him to two years imprisonment on December 6, 2021.

He was sentenced to a maximum of 14 years in prison for violating the Official Secrets Act (on trial).

Violation of Natural Disaster Mitigation Act by violating Covid-19 rules during election campaign (two years imprisonment, on December 6, 2021 and again on January 10, 2022).

Possession of unlicensed walkie-talkies and signal jammers for violating the Import/Export and Telecommunications Act (two years and one year imprisonment from January 10, to be served concurrently).

Influencing the Election Commission (three years imprisonment with hard labour, September 2, 2022).

Eleven violations of anti-corruption laws. Each carries a maximum prison term of 15 years.

Cases include:

Misusing funds from the Suu Kyi-chaired Daw Khin Chee Foundation to build a house and lease government-owned land at discounted rates (six-year prison sentence, August 15).

Accepting a total of $6 lakh in bribes and 11.4 kg of gold bars (five years in prison, April 27).

(September 2)