Myanmar’s military rulers have accused the ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi of illegally accepting $600,000 and 11kg of gold.
The allegation is the strongest yet leveled by the military since it overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar’s democratic leadership on February 1.
No evidence was provided. A lawmaker from Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD party denied the allegation.
Meanwhile a UN human rights investigator accused the military of committing “crimes against humanity.”
Thomas Andrews told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that Myanmar was currently being “controlled by a murderous, illegal regime” which was likely perpetrating “widespread” and “systematic” killings, torture and persecution.
His claims were supported by the rights group Amnesty, which accused the military of going on a “killing spree”.
Thomas Andrew also called for sanctions on junta leaders and on the military-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, which is set to reach $1 billion in revenue this year.
The US has already announced 10 coup leaders including Myanmar’s acting president, and three companies.
At least seven more people were killed by security forces on March 11, taking the total death toll to more than 70. Witnesses said some protesters had been shot in the head.
Six of those deaths took place in the central town of Myaing.
Meanwhile, a senior official said the military had been “exercising utmost restraint” and accused the protesters of violent behavior.
The accusation that she accepted $600,000 in cash and 11kg of gold was made by a former chief minister of Yangon, Phyo Mien Thein, who said he had given her the payments, junta spokesman Brig. Gen. Zaw Min Tun said. The anti-corruption committee was investigating, he added.
Gen. Zaw Min Tun also accused President Win Myint and several cabinet ministers of corruption.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD won a landslide victory in the polls last year, but the military now claims the election was fraudulent.
Independent international observers have disputed the military’s claim – saying no irregularities were observed.
Aung San Suu Kyi has been held for the past five weeks at an undisclosed location and faces several charges including causing “fear and alarm”, illegally possessing radio equipment, and breaking Covid-19 restrictions.