Bangkok, Mar 18 (efe-epa).- Myanmar’s military has added new corruption charges against the country’s ousted civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, for allegedly receiving bribes from a builder.
In a video aired on military-owned Myawaddy TV Wednesday night, the owner of a construction company claimed he gave $550,000 to Suu Kyi in four installments between 2018 and 2020.
According to his testimony posted on the channel’s website Thursday, the builder personally handed over the money three times to the elected leader, who has been under house arrest since the military coup on Feb.1.
The businessman said there were no witnesses at the time he gave the bribes and claimed that the payments served to facilitate construction permits.
The televised accusation comes after Suu Kyi was formally charged last week for receiving illegal payments worth $600,000 as well as gold while in government from former Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein, the most serious accusation against her so far.
The former is already accused of importing walkie-talkies, using illegal communications equipment, violating the natural disaster law, and causing “fear and alarm.”
At least 217 people have lost their lives in violent crackdowns on weeks-long peaceful pro-democracy protests across the country.
Some 2,200 people have been arrested in the country since the coup, according to an advocacy group, Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
Some 319 of them were released.
The military has justified taking power after alleged electoral fraud in November’s elections, in which international observers did not detect any wrongdoing.
Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won a landslide victory in the polls. EFE-EPA