Myanmar targets Aung San Suu Kyi with new corruption charges

Popularly-elected leader has been under house arrest since the military seized power and already faces a number of other charges.

Demonstrators hold placards with the image of Aung San Suu Kyi during a protest against the military coup [File: Stringer/Reuters]

Aung San Suu Kyi, who led Myanmar until the military seized power in a coup in February, is set to face more corruption offences just days before she is due to go on formal trial.

The state-run Global New Light Of Myanmar said the fresh allegations, which come on top of a string of other charges, followed the Anti-Corruption Commission’s investigation into the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation.

“She was found guilty of committing corruption using her rank,” the paper said. “So she was charged under Anti-Corruption Law section 55.”

The commission accuses 75-year-old Aung San Suu Kyi of accepting $600,000 and gold from the former chief minister of the Yangon region, and also of wrongdoing over a number of land and property leases for the foundation, where she is the chair.

A number of other officials were also found guilty of corruption for granting the land use permits, the paper said.

“The case files were opened against them at the respective township police stations yesterday (Wednesday),” the paper said.

Aung San Suu Kyi and senior members of her government were taken into custody by the military on February 1 as army chief Min Aung Hlaing seized power  and plunged a country that was moving slowly towards democracy into a protracted crisis.

The generals’ power grab has fuelled months of demonstrations and a mass civil disobedience movement, which has been met with force. More than 850 people have been killed in the crackdown, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which has been monitoring the situation.

Aung San Suu Kyi has already been charged with a string of offences including the possession of unlicensed walkie-talkies, flouting coronavirus restrictions and breaching the country’s colonial-era Official Secrets Act.

She is due to go on trial on Monday.

Source: Al Jazeera