Myanmar's Prosecution To Bring New Charge Against Aung San Suu Kyi - Reports

Myanmar's Prosecution to Bring New Charge Against Aung San Suu Kyi - Reports

BANGKOK (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 01st December, 2021) The Prosecutor's Office in Myanmar will soon bring a new corruption-related charge against Aung San Suu Kyi, former State Counselor who was ousted by the military junta and is now under trial on several other charges, the state-owned MRTV broadcaster reported on Tuesday.

Aung San Suu Kyi was initially accused of electoral fraud, and later of illegal import and use of electronic communication devices, violation of the COVID-19 state of emergency and violation of the law on state secrets.

The new corruption charge against Aung San Suu Kyi and former President Win Myint is related to the acquisition in October 2019 of an Italian-made AW-139 rescue helicopter using funds from the state budget allocated for disaster relief, MRTV said in a statement.

The helicopter arrived in the Myanmar capital of Naypyidaw in November 2020 and was registered as the property of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement to be used for rescue operations and "other government needs," the broadcaster said. The vehicle was reportedly equipped with search and rescue tools and could transport up to 14 people in addition to the crew.

However, the prosecution claims the helicopter was often misused to transport members of the National League for Democracy party's government across the country instead of military helicopters, the news said.

The helicopter charge is the fourth in a series of corruption accusations against the former State Counselor, who had been previously accused of receiving bribes in gold and cash from party officials and businesses.

On Tuesday, a Naypyidaw court postponed the announcement of a verdict in the first trial of Aung San Suu Kyi on the incitement to riot charge and moved the date of the trial to December 6. A court hearing on one of the corruption cases is scheduled for December 10, at which Aung San Suu Kyi may be also formally charged with the new corruption charge related to the helicopter acquisition.

All arrested officials of the former government denied accusations against them.

Aung San Suu Kyi, a 1991 Nobel Peace prize laureate, served as the de facto head of Myanmar's civilian government until February 2021, when the country's military overthrew her government in a coup and put her along with President Win Myint under house arrest. The military coup triggered a wave of civil protests, and more than 1,180 people have died in clashes with the authorities.