Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi has four-year jail sentence cut in half

Credit: AP

Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi ousted leader was given four-year sentence, quickly cut in half to two years, after a court in the country found her guilty of incitement and violating coronavirus restrictions, according to a legal official.

It's the first ruling in a series of cases brought against the 76-year-old since the army seized power in February and put her under house arrest.

If found guilty in all the cases she faces, she could be sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.

Her original sentence was reduced by 10 months for time served, an anonymous legal official told AP.

The coup came after Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory in the last general election.

The army, whose allied party lost many seats, claimed massive voting fraud, but independent election observers did not detect any major irregularities.

The court’s ruling on Monday was conveyed by a legal official who insisted on anonymity for fear of being punished by the authorities.

The former leader's trials are closed to the media and spectators, and her lawyers, who had been the sole source of information on the proceedings, were served with gag orders in October forbidding them from releasing information.

The cases against Suu Kyi are widely seen as contrived to discredit her and keep her from running in the next election. The constitution bars anyone sent to prison after being convicted of a crime from holding high office or becoming a lawmaker.

Opposition to military rule remains strong 10 months after the army’s takeover, and the verdict may inflame tensions even further.