Aung San Suu Kyi, the ousted civilian leader of Myanmar and Nobel laureate, was on Wednesday found guilty of corruption and sentenced to five years in jail, news agency AFP reported. 

News organisation The Associated Press reported that a Myanmar junta court accused the 76-year-old leader of accepting a bribe of $600,000 cash and gold bars. 

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The case was the first of 11 corruption charges against Suu Kyi, each carrying a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Sources quoted by agencies declined to be identified because her trials were being held behind closed doors.

News of her verdict came from a legal official who asked not to be identified because he is not authorised to release such information. Suu Kyi’s trial in the capital Naypyidaw was closed to the media, diplomats and spectators, and her lawyers were barred from speaking to the press.

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Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won a landslide victory in the 2020 general election, but lawmakers were not allowed to take their seats when the army seized power on February 1, 2021, arresting Suu Kyi and many senior colleagues in her party and government.

The army claimed it acted because there had been massive electoral fraud, but independent election observers didn’t find any major irregularities.

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The takeover was met with large nonviolent protests nationwide, which security forces quashed with lethal force that has so far led to the deaths of almost 1,800 civilians, according to a watchdog group, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

As repression escalated, armed resistance against the military government grew, and some UN experts now characterise the country as being in a state of civil war.

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Suu Kyi has not been seen or allowed to speak in public since she was detained and is being held in an undisclosed location. However, at last week’s final hearing in the case, she appeared to be in good health and asked her supporters to “stay united,” said a legal official familiar with the proceedings who asked not to be named because he is not authorised to release information.

In earlier cases, Suu Kyi was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment on convictions of illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies, violating coronavirus restrictions and sedition.

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In the case decided Wednesday, she was accused of receiving $600,000 and seven gold bars in 2017-18 from Phyo Min Thein, the former chief minister of Yangon, the country’s biggest city and a senior member of her political party. Her lawyers, before they were served with gag orders late last year, said she rejected all his testimony against her as “absurd.”