What a disgrace, even for such a corrupt kangaroo court.
The European Union condemned the move and said the trials were “purely politically motivated” by the ruling army.
“These trials were carried forward with no respect for due legal procedure or necessary judicial guarantees and are a clear attempt to exclude democratically elected leaders from political life,” an EU spokesman said.
The United States also condemned Friday’s ruling, and demanded Aung San Suu Kyi’s release.
“The Burma military regime’s final sentencing of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi is an affront to justice and the rule of law,” a State Department spokesperson said, using Myanmar’s former name and the veteran leader’s title before she was ousted.
Supporters and independent analysts said the numerous charges against Aung San Suu Kyi and her allies are an attempt to legitimise the military’s power grab while effectively eliminating her from political life in the country.
Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said in a tweet that Aung San Suu Kyi had “no possibility of justice” in the “kangaroo courts” of military-ruled Myanmar.
The corruption charges against the Noble Peace Prize laureate were “ridiculous”, Htwe Htwe Thein, an associate professor at Curtin University in Australia, told AFP.
“Nothing in Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership, governance, or lifestyles indicates the smallest hint of corruption.”
More than one million people have been displaced since the military coup, according to the United Nations children’s agency.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a rights monitoring organisation, said recently that more than 16,000 people had been arrested on political charges and at least 2,465 civilians had been killed by the military, although the actual number is thought to be far higher.
The army’s takeover in 2021 triggered widespread peaceful protests that the security forces tried to crush with deadly forces and which has now led to an armed resistance movement.
Friday’s verdict in the purpose-built courtroom in the main prison on the outskirts of the capital, Naypyidaw, was made known by a legal official who insisted on anonymity for fear of being punished by the authorities. The trial was closed to the media, diplomats and spectators, and her lawyers were barred by a gag order from talking about it.
The legal official said Aung San Suu Kyi received sentences of three years for each of four charges, to be served concurrently, and four years for the charge related to the helicopter purchase, for a total of seven years. Win Myint received the same sentences.
The defendants denied all the charges. Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers are expected to appeal in the coming days.
The end of the court cases against her, at least for now, raises the possibility that she would be allowed outside visitors, which she has been denied since being imprisoned.
The military government has repeatedly denied all requests to meet her, including from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which seeks to help mediate an end to the crisis in Myanmar that some UN experts have characterised as a civil war because of the armed opposition to military rule.
Last week, the UN Security Council called on the military government to release Aung San Suu Kyi in its first resolution on the situation in Myanmar since the coup.