Dec 6 (Reuters) – Myanmar’s deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of incitement and breaching coronavirus restrictions, a source familiar with the proceedings said, in a case her supporters say was politically motivated.
President Win Myint was also sentenced to four years in prison, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
The court delivered its first verdicts against the civilian leaders detained after a military coup on Feb. 1.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the coup against a democratically elected government. The country has been paralysed by protests, and the military junta’s deadly crackdown on its opponents, which it calls “terrorists”, has led to more instability.
Suu Kyi, 76, faces a dozen cases that include multiple corruption charges plus violations of a state secrets act, a telecoms law and COVID-19 regulations, which carry combined maximum sentences of more than a century in prison.
Suu Kyi and co-defendant Win Myint received jail terms of two years for incitement and the same term for breaches of coronavirus protocols. They had denied the charges.
Supporters of Suu Kyisay the cases are baseless and designed to end her political career and tie her up in legal proceedings while the military consolidates power.
The junta says Suu Kyi is being given due process by an independent court led by a judge appointed by her own administration.
The international community has condemned the violence in Myanmar and Western states have demanded Suu Kyi’s release.
The trial in the capital Naypyitaw has been closed to the media and the junta’s public information outlets have not mentioned the proceedings. Suu Kyi’s lawyers have been barred from communicating with the media and public.