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Myanmar’s Suu Kyi in court ahead of corruption trial verdict

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi in court ahead of corruption trial verdict
Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi attends the joint press announcement of the Japan-Mekong Summit Meeting at the Akasaka Palace State Guest House in Tokyo, Japan, 09 October 2018 (reissued 06 December 2021). On 06 December 2021, a court in Myanmar sentenced deposed State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi to four years in prison for public incitement and violating COVID-19 protocols. Former Myanmar president Win Myint was also sentenced to four years in prison under the same charges. EPA-EFE/FRANCK ROBICHON / POOL

April 25 (Reuters) - Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi was in court on Monday accused of funnelling charity money into a real estate investment, a source familiar with her trial said, one of nearly a dozen graft cases against her carrying lengthy jail terms.

Suu Kyi was arrested during the military’s coup early last year and has been found guilty of several comparatively minor offences so far, among a multitude of charges that carry combined prison sentences of almost 190 years.

The Nobel laureate faces her first verdict on Tuesday of the 11 corruption cases against her, the source told Reuters, requesting anonymity because information about the trial is being tightly controlled by the junta.

A spokesperson for the military government could not be reached for comment on Monday.

The source close to proceedings, which are being conducted behind closed doors, had last week said the verdict was scheduled for Monday. She faces 15 years in prison if convicted.

The ruling centres on allegations the Nobel laureate accepted 11.4 kg (402 oz) of gold and cash payments totalling $600,000 from her protege-turned-accuser, former Yangon chief minister Phyo Min Thein.

Suu Kyi, 76, has called that “absurd”.

Since being forced from power, Suu Kyi has been charged with crimes from violations of electoral and state secrets laws to incitement and corruption, accusations her supporters say are trumped up to end the political life of the figurehead of Myanmar’s struggle against military dictatorship.

A gag order has been imposed on Suu Kyi’s lawyers and the international community has called the trials a farce.

The junta has said Suu Kyi is being given due process by an independent court.

(Reporting by Reuters Staff; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)

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