Myanmar's Suu Kyi hit by five new corruption charges - source

State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi attends a special lunch on sustainable development on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Bangkok, Thailand, November 4, 2019. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

(Reuters) -A court in military-ruled Myanmar has announced five new corruption charges against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a source familiar with the proceedings said on Friday, adding to a slew of cases against her.

Suu Kyi has been on trial since June last year and in recent weeks has been sentenced to a combined six years in detention by a court in the capital Naypyitaw, in legal proceedings derided by the international community as a sham.

Supporters of the 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner say the military that overthrew her elected government in a coup nearly a year ago is seeking to discredit her through the trial and kill off any chance of a return to political life.

The new cases, which apply also to ousted president and Suu Kyi ally Win Myint, centre on the hiring of a helicopter while in office, according to the source, who declined to be identified because they were not authorised to speak to media.

The Oxford-educated Suu Kyi is on trial in nearly a dozen cases that carry combined maximum sentences of more than 100 years in prison.

She was on Monday sentenced to four years in jail on charges including possession of unlicensed walkie-talkies and was last month sentenced to two years for incitement. She denies all charges.

Her trial is being held behind closed doors and state media and the junta have provided few public updates on the proceedings. A gag order has been placed on her legal team.

A military spokesman could not be reached for comment and made no mention of the charges during a three-hour news conference earlier on Friday.

The junta has previously said Suu Kyi was being given due process. The military has not disclosed where Suu Kyi, who spent years under house arrest under a previous military government, is being detained.

(Reporting by Reuters Staff; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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