Myanmar’s ousted leader Suu Kyi faces new corruption charges from junta

YANGON (AFP) – Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi will be hit with fresh corruption charges from the country’s military junta, a decision slammed by her lawyer as “groundless and illogical” yesterday.

The new military regime has already issues several criminal charges against the Nobel laureate since she was detained alongside top political allides last month, including owning unlicensed walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions.

On Wednesday night, military broadcaster Myawady aired a video of a Myanmar businessman confessing to giving her a total of USD550,000 over several years. Maung Weik said he had donated money to senior government figures for the good of his business.

“Aung San Suu Kyi committed corruption and (authorities) are preparing to charge her according to anti-corruption law,” an announcer said during the broadcast.

This is not the first time corruption allegations have been lodged against her.

Protesters hold posters with the image of Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration against the military coup in Naypyitaw. PHOTO: AFP

Last week a junta spokesman said a now-detained chief minister had admitted to giving her USD600,000 and more than 10 kilogrammes of gold bars.

“Those accusations are groundless and illogical,” Suu Kyi’s lawyer Khin Maung Zaw told AFP.

“Aung San Suu Kyi may have her defects… but bribery and corruption are not her traits,” he said, adding that most people in Myanmar will not believe the allegations.

Myanmar has been in uproar since February’s coup, with hundreds of thousands of protesters flooding streets demanding a return to democracy and the release of Suu Kyi.

The junta has justified the move by claiming electoral fraud in elections last November that were won by Suu Kyi’s party in a landslide.