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Myanmar court delays verdict in Suu Kyi graft trial

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Suu Kyi is facing a total of 10 corruption charges – each with a possible 15-year jail term. STR/AFP

Myanmar court delays verdict in Suu Kyi graft trial

A Myanmar court on Monday postponed giving its first verdict in the corruption trial of former civil administration leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a spokesman of the ruling State Administration Council (SAC) told AFP, a case which could see the Nobel laureate jailed for 15 years.

Suu Kyi, 76, has been detained since the dissolution of her party in February last year over alleged irregularity in the 2020 general election, ending the Southeast Asian country’s brief period of democracy.

She has since been hit with a series of charges, including violating the official secrets act, corruption and electoral fraud, and she faces decades in jail if convicted on all counts.

“There was no verdict today,” in the corruption trial in which Suu Kyi is accused of accepting a bribe of $600,000 cash and gold bars from the former chief minister of Yangon, said Zaw Min Tun, a spokesman of the SAC.

He did not give any details on when a verdict would be reached.

Journalists have been barred from attending the special court hearings in the military-built capital Naypyidaw and Suu Kyi’s lawyers have been banned from speaking to the media.

Suu Kyi is facing a total of 10 corruption charges – each with a possible 15-year jail term.

She is also on trial for breaching the official secrets act, where she is accused alongside detained Australian academic Sean Turnell.

She has already been sentenced to six years in jail for incitement against the military, breaching Covid-19 rules and breaking a telecommunications law – although she will remain under house arrest while she fights other charges.

That likely excludes the popular leader from elections the SAC has said it plans to hold by next year.

Since the dissolution, many members of her National League for Democracy – which trounced a military-backed party in 2020 elections – have been arrested, with one chief minister sentenced to 75 years in jail.

Under a previous military rule, Suu Kyi spent long spells under house arrest at her family’s colonial-era mansion in Yangon.

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