| 4 October 2022, Tuesday |

Suu Kyi faces five new charges over Myanmar helicopter purchase

A Myanmar junta court has filed five additional corruption allegations against Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s deposed civilian leader.

According to individuals close to the investigation, the allegations stem from the purported employment and purchase of a helicopter.

The Nobel laureate, 76, has been incarcerated since the February coup, which sparked large protests and a brutal crackdown on dissent, killing over 1,400 civilians, according to a local monitoring organization.

Suu Kyi is facing a slew of criminal and corruption allegations, including violating the country’s official secrets rules, and if convicted of all of them, she could face up to 100 years in jail.

According to AFP, the allegations were leveled against Suu Kyi on Friday afternoon and were connected to the hiring, maintenance, and purchase of a helicopter.

Former Myanmar President Win Myint will be charged with the same offenses.

The state daily Global New Light of Myanmar said in December that the couple will be punished for failing to follow financial standards and inflicting a loss to the state over the hire and purchase of a helicopter for former government minister Win Myat Aye.

According to the publication, he hired the helicopter from 2019 to 2021 and utilized it for just 84.95 hours out of 720 rental hours.

He, along with other former politicians, is currently in hiding.

Suu Kyi was convicted of three criminal offenses on Monday, including unlawfully importing and owning walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions, by a Myanmar court.

She received a four-year jail term.

She was also sentenced to two years in prison in December for inciting against the military and other coronavirus violations.

The penalties would almost certainly bar Suu Kyi from running in the elections that the military regime has promised to hold by August 2023.

Suu Kyi is anticipated to stay under house arrest while the other court proceedings continue.

Journalists have been forbidden from attending the Naypyidaw special court proceedings, and her attorneys have lately been barred from communicating to the media.

Suu Kyi, the daughter of an independence hero, spent nearly two decades under house imprisonment during the old military administration.

Her presidency was damaged by her government’s handling of the Rohingya refugee crisis, in which hundreds of thousands fled to Bangladesh in 2017 after being subjected to rapes, arson, and extrajudicial murders by the Myanmar military.

Suu Kyi was on the verge of starting a new five-year tenure as the country’s de facto leader after the National League for Democracy won a landslide in the November 2020 elections.

  • The National News