Aung San Suu Kyi jailed in Myanmar for a further seven years after corruption conviction

Ruling extends former leader's prison sentence to 33 years

Aung San Suu Kyi is being held in a newly constructed building at a prison in Naypyidaw, Myanmar. AFP
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A court in military-ruled Myanmar has sentenced deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi to a further seven years in jail after convicting her on additional corruption charges.

Ms Suu Kyi, 77, was sentenced in a court session held behind closed doors on Friday. The ruling extends her prison sentence to 33 years.

The Nobel laureate was previously sentenced to 26 years in prison after being found guilty of several offences, all of which she has denied.

The case involved five offences under the anti-corruption law and followed earlier convictions on seven other corruption counts, each of which was punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine.

Ms Suu Kyi’s supporters and independent analysts say the numerous charges against her and her allies are an attempt to legitimise the military’s seizure of power while eliminating her from politics before an election that the junta promised would be held next year.

Ms Suu Kyi was the de facto head of government, holding the title of state counsellor.

In the five counts of corruption decided on Friday, she was alleged to have abused her position and caused a loss of the state by failing to follow financial regulations when she gave Win Myat Aye, a minister in her government, permission to hire, buy and maintain a helicopter.

Mr Win Myat was a co-defendant in the same case.

The end of the court cases against Ms Suu Kyi, at least for now, raises the possibility that she will be allowed visitors, something she has been denied since she was detained.

Allowing access to Ms Suu Kyi has been a major demand of the many international critics of Myanmar’s military rulers, who have faced diplomatic and political sanctions for their human rights abuses and suppression of democracy.

The junta has repeatedly denied all requests to meet Ms Suu Kyi, including from the Association of South-east Asian Nations, which seeks to mediate an end to the crisis in Myanmar that some UN experts have characterised as a civil war because of the armed opposition to military rule.

In August, the UN said its special envoy Noeleen Heyzer met junta leader Gen Min Aung Hlaing, who “expressed [an] openness to arranging a meeting at the right time” between Ms Heyzer and Ms Suu Kyi.

The junta said it would consider how to proceed, “depending on the circumstances after the completion of the judiciary process”.

Ms Suu Kyi is currently being held in a newly constructed building at a prison in Naypyidaw, near the courthouse where her trial was held.

Agencies contributed to this report.

Updated: December 30, 2022, 7:17 AM