A court in military-run Myanmar has sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi to seven years in prison for corruption, putting an end to a number of covert and highly-politicized procedures against the deposed former leader.
Friday’s verdict is the final punishment meted out to the 77-year-old, a democratically elected figurehead. She led Myanmar for five years before being forced from power in a violent coup in early 2021.
According to a reliable source, the ruling on Friday, Dec. 30, found Suu Kyi guilty of corruption in connection with the acquisition, maintenance, and renting of a helicopter. She allegedly used the helicopter during state activities and natural catastrophes, including rescues and crises.
She now faces a total sentence of 33 years in prison. This includes three years of hard labor, and she could spend the rest of her life in prison.
According to sources, Suu Kyi has previously been found guilty of several crimes, including electoral fraud and accepting bribes.
She has firmly denied all of the accusations against her, and according to her attorneys, they are all politically driven.
She is being held in solitary confinement at a prison in the capital Naypyidaw and her trials have taken place behind closed doors, with limited information reported by state media and a gag order imposed on her lawyers.
Myanmar has been torn by violence and economic paralysis since the coup to prevent Suu Kyi forming a new government. Meanwhile, rights groups have repeatedly expressed concerns about the punishment of pro-democracy activists in the country since the military intervention.