suu kyi: Myanmar junta court rejects Suu Kyi’s corruption appeal

YANGON: A Myanmar junta court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi against a five-year sentence for corruption handed down last week, according to a source with knowledge of the case.
Since a coup toppled her government in February last year, throwing Myanmar into turmoil, Suu Kyi has been in military custody and faces a series of charges that could jail her for more than 150 years.
Last week, the Nobel laureate was convicted of accepting a $600,000 bribe in cash and gold bullion, a charge she called “absurd,” according to her lawyer.
An appeal filed by Suu Kyi’s legal team was “summarily dismissed without a hearing from either party,” the source said.
Suu Kyi, 76, had already been sentenced to six years in prison for inciting the military, breaking Covid-19 rules and violating a telecommunications law.
He will remain under house arrest at an unknown location in the military capital Naypyidaw while he fights other charges.
A spokesman for the board could not be reached for comment on the appeal decision.
Suu Kyi is also facing a series of other trials, including for alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act, various corruption charges and election fraud.
Journalists have been banned from attending court hearings and Suu Kyi’s lawyers have been banned from speaking to the media.
Last month, Suu Kyi was forced to miss three days of hearings after being quarantined due to a covid-19 case among her staff.
Under a previous junta regime, Suu Kyi spent long periods under house arrest at her family’s mansion in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city.
Currently confined to an undisclosed location in the capital, her ties to the outside world are limited to brief pre-trial meetings with her lawyers.
Last year’s coup sparked widespread protests and unrest that the military has tried to put down by force.
According to a local watchdog group, the crackdown has left more than 1,800 civilians dead and more than 13,000 detained.
Suu Kyi has been the face of Myanmar’s democratic hopes for more than 30 years, but her previous sentences already mean she is likely to miss elections the junta has said it plans to hold next year.

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