YANGON: A Myanmar junta court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi against a five-year sentence for corruption handed down last week, according to a source with knowledge of the case.
Since a coup ousted her government in February last year, plunging Myanmar into upheaval, Suu Kyi has been in military custody and faces a raft of charges that could jail her for more than 150 years.
Last week the Nobel laureate was convicted of accepting a bribe of $600,000 cash and gold bars — a charge she said was “absurd”, according to her lawyer.
An appeal filed by Suu Kyi’s legal team was on Wednesday “summarily dismissed without hearing from either side”, the source said.
The 76-year-old Suu Kyi had already been sentenced to six years in jail for incitement against the military, breaching Covid-19 rules and breaking a telecommunications law.
She will remain under house arrest at an unknown location in the military-built capital Naypyidaw while she fights other charges.
A junta spokesman could not be reached for comment on the appeal decision.
Suu Kyi also faces a raft of other trials, including for allegedly violating the official secrets act, several counts of corruption and electoral fraud.
Journalists have been barred from attending the court hearings and Suu Kyi’s lawyers have been banned from speaking to the media.
Last month Suu Kyi was forced to miss three days of hearings after being quarantined because of a Covid-19 case among her staff.
Under a previous junta regime, Suu Kyi spent long spells under house arrest in her family mansion in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city.
Today, she is confined to an undisclosed location in the capital, with her links to the outside world limited to brief pre-trial meetings with her lawyers.
The coup last year sparked widespread protests and unrest that the military has sought to crush by force.
According to a local monitoring group, the crackdown has left more than 1,800 civilians dead while over 13,000 have been arrested.
Suu Kyi has been the face of Myanmar’s democratic hopes for more than 30 years, but her earlier sentences already mean she is likely to miss elections the junta has said it plans to hold by next year.