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HomeWorld NewsSuu Kyi Sentenced Three Years Imprisonment Under State Secret Act

Suu Kyi Sentenced Three Years Imprisonment Under State Secret Act


Former leader Aung San Suu Kyi was found guilty in a separate criminal case on Thursday. Australian economist Sean Turnell was given a three-year jail term for breaking Myanmar’s official secrets legislation, according to a judicial official.

The official, who spoke anonymously because he was not allowed to discuss the matter publicly, said that Suu Kyi was given a three-year term after being tried and found guilty with Turnell under the secrets legislation.

Three other members of her cabinet were convicted guilty, and each received a three-year term.

Turnell, an associate professor of economics at Macquarie University in Sydney, had advised Suu Kyi, imprisoned in the nation’s capital Naypyitaw on February 1, 2021, after the army overthrew her elected administration.

He has been imprisoned for about a year. He was detained by security agents five days after the military took control of the country at a hotel in Yangon, the largest city, while he awaited a ride to the airport.

Less than a month before his arrest, he had returned to Myanmar from Australia to begin a new job as a special consultant to Suu Kyi.

He has been residing in Naypyitaw for several years as the director of the Myanmar Development Institute.

He said on Twitter the day after the military overthrew the government: Safe for the moment, but devastated by what all this implies for the people of Myanmar.

Those I know are the boldest and friendliest. They ought to be treated better.

Based on papers obtained from him, he was accused of Suu Kyi and the three former Cabinet members. Although state media reported last year that Turnell had access to “sensitive state financial information” and had attempted to leave the country, the specifics of their infraction have not been made public.

Turnell and Suu Kyi refuted the accusations during their defense testimony during the August trial.

Turnell was also accused of breaking immigration rules; however, it was unclear at the time of writing what punishment he got.

The illegal possession, gathering, recording, publication, or sharing of state information that is “directly or indirectly, advantageous to an adversary” is prohibited under Myanmar’s colonial-era official secrets laws. The maximum sentence for the offense is 14 years in jail.

The trial occurred entirely behind closed doors in the central jail in Naypyitaw, in a courtroom designed with discretion.

A gag order prevented the defense attorneys from discussing the case’s specifics.

All of Suu Kyi’s trials have been subject to the same limitations.

Suu Kyi is involved in several cases, and the one that ended on Thursday is only one of them.

It is generally believed that this case was an attempt to defame Suu Kyi to stop her from entering politics again.

She had previously received a 20-year jail term after being found guilty of five counts of corruption, unlawfully importing and having walkie-talkies, breaking coronavirus laws, sedition, and breaching election laws.

Most people believe the charges were created to prevent the 77-year-old Suu Kyi from returning to active politics.

According to the nation’s anti-corruption statute, Suu Kyi is still under trial on seven charges, each carrying a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail and a fine.

Turnell, Suu Kyi, and three former ministers—Soe Win and Kyaw Win, both former ministries of planning and finance, and Set Aung, a former deputy minister in the same church—are all anticipated to have defense attorneys submit appeals in the case of the secret in the following days, the legal expert added.

Since the army took power, around six foreigners have reportedly been detained on political accusations; after being found guilty, they are often deported.

Turnell’s release has been sought by Australia repeatedly. However, due to the military coup and Turnell’s continued arrest terminated its defense cooperation with Myanmar last year and started rerouting funds.

Longtime Turnell friend Tim Harcourt expressed his continued optimism for his buddy’s speedy release.

He’s a fantastic guy, a great human being, and a brilliant economist. His primary goal is to eradicate poverty, and he has specific knowledge in Myanmar, “Sydney scholar Harcourt told AP.

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“Unfortunately, he was imprisoned on false accusations. Sean should soon be able to see his wife and family in Australia if justice and sound reason win out.

It was unclear whether Turnell’s 20 months of prior incarceration would be subtracted from his sentence.

In a meeting with the head of the governing military council in January of this year, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen requested the release of Turnell.

Min Aung Hlaing, a senior general, retorted that he “would evaluate it favorably.

When she visited with Min Aung Hlaing in August, Noeleen Heyzer, the U.N. Special Envoy on Myanmar, said she specifically requested Turnell’s release on behalf of Australia.

But, according to the Myanmar government, the general said that if the Australian government took appropriate action, “we would not need to take serious measures.”

A group that monitors human rights claims that 15,683 individuals have been jailed in Myanmar on political grounds since the military took power, with 12,540 still being held.

In addition, according to the organization, security forces have murdered at least 2,324 people within the same period, but the actual figure is likely far higher.

Since the military coup, which was put down with lethal force, there has been unrest in Myanmar. This unrest has sparked armed resistance that some U.N. experts now refer to as a civil war.


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