Aung San Suu Kyi, Australian economic adviser jailed in Myanmar

Myanmar’s elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been found guilty of breaching the country’s official secrets act by a secretive military court, the latest in a string of convictions brought by the generals who removed her from office in a coup last year.

Aung San Suu Kyi was given a three-year sentence on Thursday, an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to release information about the case, told the Associated Press news agency.

Her economic adviser, Sean Turnell, was also found guilty and sentenced to three years in jail, the official said.

Turnell, an academic at Macquarie University in Sydney, was arrested five days after the February 2021 coup. The Australian embassy was not allowed to attend his trial and he was denied a translator during proceedings.

“Three years each, no hard labour,” a source familiar with the proceedings told the Reuters news agency.

Australia said it rejected the court ruling and called for Turnell’s immediate release.

“The Australian government has consistently rejected the charges against Professor Turnell during the more than 19 months he had been unjustly detained by the Myanmar military regime,” Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in a statement.

“We will continue to take every opportunity to advocate strongly for Professor Turnell until he has returned to his family in Australia.”

The exact details of their alleged offences have not been made public, although state television said last year that Turnell had access to “secret state financial information” and had tried to flee the country. Other members of her economic team were also charged in the case.

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