Myanmar’s military authorities have charged deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi with corruption, the most serious charge laid against her till now.She is accused of accepting cash and gold in bribes and faces up to 15 years in jail if found guilty.
She faces six other charges relating to alleged illegal imports of walkie-talkies and inciting public unrest.The former state counselor was arrested on 1st February when the military seized power in a coup.She has since been held under house arrest, and little has been seen or heard of her apart from brief court appearances.
The country’s military seized power alleging voter fraud in general elections held last year.But independent election monitors say the election was largely free and fair, and the charges against Suu Kyi have been widely criticised as politically motivated.
They will likely be used to disqualify her from standing in elections in the future, given her enduring popularity.Her lawyer, Khin Maung Zaw, called the corruption charges absurd.
The coup triggered widespread demonstrations, and Myanmar’s military has brutally cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.According to the monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, security forces have killed more than 800 people and detained nearly 5,000 till date.