Ousted Myanmar leader faces new corruption charges that her lawyer slams as ‘absurd’

Ousted Myanmar leader faces new corruption charges that her lawyer slams as 'absurd'

New cases of corruption have been launched against Myanmar’s deposed elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other former government officials, the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar said on Thursday.

The cases are the latest in a series against Suu Kyi, 75, who was overthrown by the army on February 1, in a coup that has thrown the Southeast Asian country into chaos, with daily protests, strikes and riots in far-flung regions the anti -Junta militias said they killed 37 soldiers on Thursday.

The state newspaper quoted the Anti-Corruption Commission on allegations of land abuse for the non-profit Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, which it chaired, and previous allegations of accepting money and gold.

On Wednesday, files against Suu Kyi and several other officials from the capital Naypyidaw were opened at police stations.

“She was found guilty of corruption by using her rank. So she was charged under Section 55 of the Anti-Corruption Act,” the newspaper said. Those found guilty face up to 15 years imprisonment.

CLOCK | Canada, USA and EU condemn the coup in Myanmar:

Myanmar’s military seized power with a coup against the democratically elected government of Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. UN Ambassador Bob Rae said the country’s 2008 constitution made such a military takeover possible. 12:28

Lawyer considers fees to be “absurd”

Suu Kyi’s chief attorney said on several other cases that he knew the corruption investigation was ongoing and not pending before a court. He described the allegations as “absurd”.

“She may have flaws, but personal greed and corruption are not her characteristics. Those who accuse her of greed and corruption spit in the sky,” said Khin Maung Zaw in a message to Reuters.

The Daw Khin Kyi Foundation was established on behalf of her late mother to promote education, health and welfare in Myanmar.

The cases Suu Kyi has faced ranged from illegally owning walkie-talkie radios to violating the Official Secrets Act. Your supporters say the cases are politically motivated.

The army toppled Suu Kyi in January this year on allegations that her party cheated in the November elections, an accusation that has been denied by the previous electoral commission and international observers.

But the army has failed to gain control as peaceful and violent resistance cripples the economy and guerrilla attacks on security forces in border areas have been hit by artillery and air strikes, including civilian areas.

Anti-coup protesters march along a street in Yangon, Myanmar, on April 24, 2021. (The Associated Press)

Fighting erupted between the military and newly formed People’s Defense Forces, one of whom said Thursday it killed 17 government soldiers in a battle in Chin state on the border with India.

Another, the Chinland Defense Force, said on its Facebook page that its militants had also killed 10 soldiers near Hakha and urged the junta to release all those detained in Chin state or expect a stronger backlash.

In the Sagaing region, militias ambushed five military vehicles and killed 10 soldiers, the news website Irrawaddy reported, citing local residents.

Reuters is unable to independently verify the allegations and a military spokesman did not respond to calls to comment. The state MRTV made no mention of the incidents on its nightly news broadcast.

Fighting in northeast and northwest Myanmar has forced more than 100,000 people to flee, according to the United Nations, some to the Indian states of Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland, where authorities fear that pro-democratic fighters may have joined the refugees.