Myanmar’s Suu Kyi faces six years in prison after further convictions -source

  • Suu Kyi Sentenced to Four Years in Prison on Three Other Charges
  • Charges include possession of unlicensed walkie talkies
  • All his charges could amount to more than 100 years in prison
  • Critics of the junta say cases designed to end his political career
  • The verdict is politically motivated, according to the Nobel committee

Jan. 10 (Reuters) – A military-controlled Myanmar court on Monday sentenced ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to four years in prison for possessing unlicensed walkie-talkies, a source familiar with the matter said.

The latest conviction in court proceedings that rights groups have called a farce and a “courtroom circus” means she faces a six-year prison sentence after two convictions last month.

She is on trial in nearly a dozen cases carrying maximum combined sentences of more than 100 years in prison. She denies all the charges. Read more

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Nobel laureate Suu Kyi, 76, appeared calm when the verdict was read in a court in the capital, Naypyitaw on Monday, another source familiar with the court proceedings said.

Suu Kyi was arrested on the day of the February 1 coup, and days later police said six illegally imported walkie-talkies were found during a search of her home.

International human rights groups, the Norwegian Nobel Committee and the United States have assailed the news, US State Department spokesman Ned Price calling the sentences “an affront to justice and justice. ‘Rule of law’ and demanding the release of Suu Kyi and other political detainees.

The court sentenced him to two years for violating an import-export law in possession of portable radios and one year for having a set of signal jammers. The two sentences will be executed simultaneously, the source said.

She was also sentenced to two years on another charge of violating a natural disaster management law related to the coronavirus rules, the source said.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the coup against the democratically elected government of Suu Kyi led to widespread protests and marked the end of 10 years of attempted political reform that followed decades of strict military rule.

On December 6, she was sentenced to four years in prison for incitement and violating coronavirus rules.

This sentence, which was later reduced to two years, was greeted by a chorus of international condemnations.

The United States, along with other Western countries, has imposed sanctions on the Burmese military and its companies since the coup.

Myanmar National League for Democracy party leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at a press conference at her home in Yangon on November 5, 2015. REUTERS / Jorge Silva / File Photo

Human rights organization Amnesty International said on Twitter Monday that the new convictions were “the latest act in the grotesque trial against the civilian leader.”

“The latest verdict against Aung San Suu Kyi is a politically motivated verdict. Aung San Suu Kyi continues to be the main champion of democracy in Myanmar,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, told Reuters.

“The Nobel committee is deeply concerned about her situation,” she added.

SECRET TRIAL

Suu Kyi’s supporters claim that the lawsuits against her are baseless and designed to end her political career and leave the military free to exercise power without being hampered by any challenge.

The junta says Suu Kyi enjoys due process by an independent tribunal headed by a judge appointed by her own administration. A spokesperson for the military council could not immediately be reached for comment.

His trial was closed to the media, and Suu Kyi’s attorneys were not allowed to communicate with the media and the public.

The military has not disclosed where Suu Kyi, who spent years under house arrest under a previous military government, is being held.

“The Burmese junta’s circus in the courtrooms of secret proceedings on false charges is to regularly rack up new convictions … so that she remains in prison indefinitely,” said Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch for Asia, in a press release.

In recent court hearings, Suu Kyi wore a white top and a wrap-around brown longyi typically worn by Burmese prisoners, sources said.

Military leader Min Aung Hlaing said last month that Suu Kyi and ousted President Win Myint would stay in one place during their trials and would not be sent to jail.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen did not seek to meet Suu Kyi during a visit to the country last week for talks with its military leadership. Read more

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Reporting by Reuters staff Editing by Ed Davies Editing by Martin Petty, Robert Birsel, William Maclean

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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