Five new charges against the ousted leader include the rental, purchase and maintenance of a helicopter used by her government.
Myanmar’s military-formed government has filed five new corruption charges against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi over the granting of permits to lease and purchase a helicopter, an official said.
Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been in custody since the military coup last February, is already on trial on five other corruption charges. All of them are liable to imprisonment for up to 15 years and a fine.
Suu Kyi previously faced other charges and was sentenced to six years in prison after being found guilty of illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions.
Her supporters and rights groups say the cases against her were fabricated by the army to justify its takeover and prevent her from returning to politics.
The military government dismissed the criticism.
“No one is above the law. I just want to say that she will be judged according to the law,” said the government spokesman, Major General Zaw Min Tun, when asked about the matter at a press conference on Friday.
The military takeover prevented Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) from beginning a second five-year term in power.
The military said it acted due to widespread fraud in the November 2020 general election, but independent polling monitoring groups confirmed there was little evidence of this.
The takeover was met with widespread popular protests, and Myanmar is now experiencing deadly armed resistance to military rule.
According to the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners, a human rights watchdog in Myanmar, at least 1,469 people have been killed and more than 11,500 arrested since the February 1 coup last year.
A legal official familiar with the case, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, said the five new charges include the rental, purchase and maintenance of a helicopter.
State media had announced in December that Suu Kyi and Win Myint, who was a chief in her cabinet, would be prosecuted under the anti-corruption law in connection with the helicopter leasing.
The state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said the anti-corruption commission found that they abused their power and caused loss of state funds by neglecting to follow financial regulations in granting permission to then Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Win Myat Yes to rent and purchase a helicopter.
Win Myat Aye is now Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management in the Government of National Unity, which was established as a parallel administration by opponents of military rule. The secret organization is considered illegal by the military.
Other corruption charges Suu Kyi is on trial for alleged bribery and abuse of power in connection with real estate deals.
She is also on trial for violating the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.
The military government said it and her colleagues would be tried for alleged electoral fraud.