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Aide to Myanmar’s Suu Kyi Sentenced to 20 Years for Treason 


FILE - Win Htein, one of the leaders of National League for Democracy party, arrives to attend a conference in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, May 24, 2017.

Myanmar media and family members said Friday a long-time colleague and fellow party member of the country's ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been found guilty of treason and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The reports say 79-year-old Win Htein was arrested along with Suu Kyi and other members of her government following the military coup February 1 that removed them from power.

Media say Win Htein’s sentence appears to be the most severe given so far to any of the top members of Suu Kyi's government. He is reported to have publicly called for civil disobedience in opposition to the military's takeover prior to his arrest.

In a message to Reuters news agency, Win Htein’s daughter, Chit Suu Win Htein, said of the sentence, “So this is as we expected. It's not a surprise but it's a sad and outrageous thing to hear about the ridiculous sentencing. Perpetrators of this injustice will be held accountable for this ... Please hold on people! We will win!”

Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, right, and Win Htein, chief executive committee members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), attend the funeral service for the party's former chairman Aung Shwe in Yangon on Aug. 17, 2017.
Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, right, and Win Htein, chief executive committee members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), attend the funeral service for the party's former chairman Aung Shwe in Yangon on Aug. 17, 2017.

Suu Kyi has also been charged with a litany of offenses, including breaking coronavirus protocols, illegally possessing two-way radios, accepting bribes of cash and gold, incitement to cause public alarm and violating the Official Secrets Act.

In her first court testimony Tuesday Suu Kyi denied a charge of incitement in connection with her party publishing a February letter calling on international organizations not to cooperate with the ruling military junta.

The military has said it took power because elections last year that returned Suu Kyi's party to office were flawed – an assertion the country's electoral commission has dismissed.

Some information for this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.

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