Myanmar’s deposed leader Suu Kyi found guilty in widely-criticized trial

FILE PHOTO: Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi attends the joint news conference of the Japan-Mekong Summit Meeting at the Akasaka Palace State Guest House in Tokyo, Japan October 9, 2018. Franck Robichon/Pool via Reuters

(Reuters) – A court in military-ruled Myanmar found deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi guilty of charges of incitement and breaching coronavirus restrictions on Monday, drawing international condemnation of what some critics described as a “sham trial.”

Suu Kyi is set to serve two years in detention at an undisclosed location, a sentence reduced from four years after a partial pardon from the country’s military chief, state TV reported.

President Win Myint was also sentenced to four years as the court delivered its first verdicts in numerous cases against Suu Kyi and other civilian leaders ousted by the military in a coup on Feb. 1.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the coup against Suu Kyi’s democratically elected government led to widespread protests and raised international concern about the end of tentative political reforms following decades of military rule.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi, 76, has been detained since the coup, along with most senior leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party. Others are abroad or in hiding.

“The conviction of the State Counsellor following a sham trial in secretive proceedings before a military-controlled court is nothing but politically motivated,” U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said in comments echoed by the European Union and others.

A military spokesman did not respond to attempts by Reuters to reach him for comment on the sentencing, which was widely reported in domestic media.

The military has not given details of where Suu Kyi – who spent years under house arrest due to her opposition to military rule before becoming Myanmar’s leader – is being detained.

She is due to remain at that location to serve her sentence, MRTV reported, suggesting she will not be sent to prison.

(Writing by Martin Petty, Ed Davies, Robert Birsel and John Geddie; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Angus MacSwan)

 

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