Tuesday, 17 May, 2022

Myanmar junta court delays verdict in Suu Kyi corruption trial

A Myanmar junta court on Monday postponed giving its first verdict in the corruption trial of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a junta spokesman told AFP, a case which could see the Nobel laureate jailed for 15 years.

Suu Kyi, 76, has been detained since the generals staged a coup and ousted her government in February last year, ending the Southeast Asian country's brief period of democracy.

She has since been hit with a series of charges, including violating the official secrets act, corruption and electoral fraud, and she faces decades in jail if convicted on all counts.

"There was no verdict today," in the corruption trial in which Suu Kyi is accused of accepting a bribe of $600,000 cash and gold bars from the former chief minister of Yangon, junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun told AFP.

He did not give any details on when a verdict would be reached.

Journalists have been barred from attending the special court hearings in the military-built capital Naypyidaw and Suu Kyi's lawyers have been banned from speaking to the media.

Suu Kyi has already been handed a six-year sentence for violating Covid-19 rules and walkie-talkie import regulations -- likely excluding the popular leader from elections the junta has said it plans to hold by next year.

Under a previous junta regime, Suu Kyi spent long spells under house arrest at her family's colonial-era mansion in Yangon.

More than 1,700 people have been killed and over 10,000 arrested in a crackdown on dissent since the coup, according to a local monitoring group.