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(MYANMAR) Military Coup Report: Construction magnate with links to military rulers claimed he personally gave more than half a million dollars in cash to deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a broadcast on state television aimed at discrediting the ousted civilian government #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Mar.21: The military has been trying to build a case against Ms Suu Kyi, the country’s elected Prime Minister, since arresting her and mounting a coup on February 1.

Myanmar magnate’s says he gave cash to Aung San Suu Kyi, as military pushes bribery case: ‘The statement by Maung Waik paved the way for an additional charge against Ms Suu Kyi of violating an anti-corruption law, which carries a maximum of 15 years in prison, according to a broadcast on state-run MRTV’

Posted 14h ago

Protesters hold pictures of deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi as they march in the street.
Ms Suu Kyi  has been detained since a military coup on February 1.(AP)

The military has already tried to implicate Ms Suu Kyi in corruption, alleging she was given US$600,000 ($775,000) plus gold bars by a political ally.

She and President Win Myint have been charged so far with inciting unrest, possession of walkie-talkies and violating a pandemic order limiting public gatherings.

In the latest salvo of allegations, Maung Waik, who has previously been convicted of drug trafficking, told state TV he gave cash to government ministers to help his businesses. 

Protesters wearing helmets duck for cover behind a smoke bomb on an Asian street.
Demonstrators take cover behind a barricade during an anti-coup protest in Mandalay. (Reuters)

He said the money included $US100,000 ($129,170) given to Ms Suu Kyi in 2018 for a charitable foundation named after her mother, $US150,000 in 2019 for which he did not specify a reason, $US50,000 last February and $US250,000 in April, again with no purpose specified.

Mr Waik said the bribes were handed over in black envelopes, though he admitted there were no witnesses

The country’s Anti-Corruption Commission has launched an investigation into the allegations and vowed to take action against Ms Suu Kyi under the Anti-Corruption Law, according to the news report broadcast on state television.

Security forces have increasingly used lethal force against a popular uprising demanding the restoration of Ms Suu Kyi and democratically elected leaders.

Concerns for detained Australian Professor

Professor Turnell appears with Aung San Suu Kyi
Professor Turnell appears with Aung San Suu Kyi.(LinkedIn)

Australian Professor Sean Turnell, an economist and former adviser to Ms Suu Kyi, was also detained in the days following the coup but has not been formally charged.

A DFAT spokesperson told the ABC Professor Turnell had been allowed only “limited consular access” over the 30 days of his detention.

Professor Turnell, from Sydney’s Macquarie University, had been advising Ms Suu Kyi on economic policy for several years.

“Myanmar has not provided Australia with confirmation of the reasons for the detention of Professor Turnell,” the spokesperson said.

“We continue to call on Myanmar to immediately release Professor Turnell and allow him to return to his family in Australia.”

The spokesperson said Australia had raised “its serious concerns about the campaign of violence and intimidation in Myanmar” at the ASEAN-Australia Forum on March 17.

“We called for a return to democracy and for the release of detained civilian leaders,” the spokesperson said, adding that they had also raised the case of Professor Turnell at the forum.Loading

ABC/wires

#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Mar.21: 2021:

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