A court in military-ruled Myanmar on Wednesday found deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi guilty of corruption and sentenced her to five years in jail, according to a source with knowledge of the proceedings.
The case was the first of 11 corruption charges against the Nobel laureate, each carrying a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. The source declined to be identified because her trials are being held behind closed doors.
Suu Kyi 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.
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.
She is also on trial for breaching the official secrets act, where she is accused alongside detained Australian academic Sean Turnell.
“The days of Aung San Suu Kyi as a free woman are effectively over," said Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia Director of Human Rights Watch. "Myanmar’s junta and the country’s kangaroo courts are walking in lockstep to put Aung San Suu Kyi away for what could ultimately be the equivalent of a life sentence, given her advanced age."
More than 1,700 people have been killed and over 13,000 arrested in a crackdown on dissent since the coup, according to a local monitoring group.