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Myanmar's Suu Kyi in court ahead of corruption trial verdict - source

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By Reuters

– Myanmar ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi was in court on Monday accused of funnelling charity money into a real estate investment, a source familiar with her trial said, one of nearly a dozen graft cases against her carrying lengthy jail terms.

Suu Kyi was arrested during the military’s coup early last year and has been found guilty of several comparatively minor offences so far, among a multitude of charges that carry combined prison sentences of almost 190 years.

The Nobel laureate faces her first verdict on Tuesday of the 11 corruption cases against her, the source told Reuters, requesting anonymity because information about the trial is being tightly controlled by the junta.

A spokesperson for the military government could not be reached for comment on Monday.

The source close to proceedings, which are being conducted behind closed doors, had last week said the verdict was scheduled for Monday. She faces 15 years in prison if convicted.

The ruling centres on allegations the Nobel laureate accepted 11.4 kg (402 oz) of gold and cash payments totalling $600,000 from her protege-turned-accuser, former Yangon chief minister Phyo Min Thein.

Suu Kyi, 76, has called that “absurd”.

Since being forced from power, Suu Kyi has been charged with crimes from violations of electoral and state secrets laws to incitement and corruption, accusations her supporters say are trumped up to end the political life of the figurehead of Myanmar’s struggle against military dictatorship.

A gag order has been imposed on Suu Kyi’s lawyers and the international community has called the trials a farce.

The junta has said Suu Kyi is being given due process by an independent court.