Ousted Myanmar leader Suu Kyi jailed for total of 33 years

Ousted Myanmar leader Suu Kyi jailed for total of 33 years
The sentencing has been condemned worldwide.
3 min read
30 December, 2022
Protests are being held in Myanmar and beyond [Getty images]

Ousted Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to another seven years in jail as her long series of trials ended on Friday, with the Nobel laureate now facing more than three decades behind bars.

A prisoner of the military since a coup last year, Suu Kyi, 77, has been convicted on every charge levelled against her ranging from corruption to illegally possessing walkie-talkies and flouting Covid restrictions.

She was jailed on Friday for seven years on five counts of corruption related to the hiring, maintaining and purchase of a helicopter for a government minister, a case in which she allegedly caused "a loss to the state".

Suu Kyi -- sentenced to a total of 33 years following 18 months of court proceedings that rights groups have dismissed as a sham -- appeared in good health, a legal source familiar with the case told AFP.

"All her cases were finished and there are no more charges against her," said the source, who requested anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Journalists have been barred from attending the hearings and Suu Kyi's lawyers have been blocked from speaking to the media.

The road leading to the prison holding Suu Kyi in the military-built capital Naypyidaw was cleared of traffic ahead of the verdict, said an AFP correspondent in the city.

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Former Myanmar president Win Myint, who was co-accused with Suu Kyi in the latest trial, received the same sentence, the source said, adding that both would lodge appeals.

Suu Kyi has been seen only once since her trial began -- in grainy state media photos from a bare courtroom -- and has been reliant on lawyers to relay messages to the world.

Many in Myanmar's democracy struggle, which Suu Kyi has dominated for decades, have abandoned her core principle of non-violence, with "People's Defence Forces" clashing regularly with the military across the country.

The United States and the European Union condemned Suu Kyi's sentencing, with Washington demanding her immediate release.

"The Burma military regime's final sentencing of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi is an affront to justice and the rule of law," a State Department spokesperson in Washington said.

The EU said her trials had been politically motivated, and also slammed Win Myint's sentencing.

"These trials were carried forward with no respect for due legal procedure or necessary judicial guarantees and are a clear attempt to exclude democratically elected leaders from political life," an EU spokesman in Brussels said.

Last week, the United Nations Security Council called on the junta to release Suu Kyi in its first resolution on Myanmar since the coup.

It was a rare moment of relative unity by the council after permanent members and junta allies China and Russia abstained.