The accusations are related to the misuse of land belonging to a foundation she chaired as well as earlier accusations of accepting money and gold.

State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi attends the 22nd ASEAN Plus Three Summit in Bangkok, Thailand on November 4, 2019.
State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi attends the 22nd ASEAN Plus Three Summit in Bangkok, Thailand on November 4, 2019. (Reuters)

Prosecutors in Myanmar have opened fresh corruption cases against Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other former officials from her government.

The cases on Thursday are the latest of a series brought against elected leader Suu Kyi, who was overthrown by the army on February 1 in a coup that has plunged the Southeast Asian country into chaos.

The state-run Global New Light of Myanmar quoted the Anti-Corruption Commission as saying the accusations related to the misuse of land for the charitable Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, which she chaired, as well as earlier accusations of accepting money and gold.

It said case files had been opened against Suu Kyi and several other officials from the capital Naypyidaw at police stations on Wednesday.

"She was found guilty of committing corruption using her rank. So she was charged under Anti-Corruption Law section 55," the paper said. That law provides for up to 15 years in prison for those found guilty.

Reuters was not immediately able to reach Suu Kyi's lawyers for comment.

READ MORE: Suu Kyi hit with another charge as Myanmar activists seek new year defiance 

Politically motivated cases

Cases Suu Kyi already faced ranged from the illegal possession of walkie-talkie radios to breaking the Official Secrets Act.

Her supporters say the cases are politically motivated.

The army overthrew Suu Kyi saying her party had cheated in November elections, an accusation rejected by the previous election commission and international monitors.

Since then, the army has failed to establish control. It faces daily protests, strikes that have paralysed the economy by opponents of the junta, a rash of assassinations and bomb attacks and a resurgence of conflicts in Myanmar's borderlands.

READ MORE:Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi is well, says lawyer

UN expert says attacks risk humanitarian tragedy

At least one-quarter of the people in Myanmar's smallest state have been forced to flee their homes because of combat with the military junta, raising fears of a possible humanitarian tragedy including thousands of civilian deaths, a UN expert said.

The UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, called for international pressure on the junta to deprive it of the resources needed “to continue these brutal attacks on the people of Myanmar.”

Kayah state, also known as Karenni state, is in eastern Myanmar along the border with Thailand and has an estimated population of 350,000-400,000.

The UN.’s office in Myanmar said in a statement on Tuesday that people in Kayah are in urgent need of food, water, shelter, fuel and healthcare, and that “this crisis could push people across international borders seeking safety, as already seen in other parts of the country.” 

Villagers from the Karen minority south of Kayah fled to Thailand in March and April when they came under attack by Myanmar’s military.

There has been fierce fighting in Kayah since May 21, when government forces moved into areas controlled by the state's dominant political organization, the Karenni National Progressive Party, and its armed wing, the Karenni Army. 

The KNPP is one of about a dozen armed ethnic organizations that have been battling for decades for greater autonomy from the central government.

Andrews said he has received “credible reports of a major shortage of safe drinking water, severe diarrhea outbreaks, and a lack of adequate shelter” among Kayah’s displaced people.

He said there were reports that the military had set up blockades that are keeping aid from reaching them.

An official for the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force, a recently formed group fighting against the government, confirmed that there was an urgent need among the displaced people for protection during the current rainy season and for medicine.

The spokesman, who was contacted by phone from Thailand and declined to give his name for safety reasons, said there was not much fighting Wednesday, though occasional sounds of government heavy weapons could be heard.

The defense force is an outgrowth of the protest movement that began against military rule after the February takeover. The units were formed locally and now sometimes operate at the state level. 

They are loosely affiliated with an alternative National Unity Government established by elected lawmakers who were denied their seats in Parliament by the army coup.

The National Unity Government seeks recognition as Myanmar's legitimate government, and has announced plans to unite the local defense forces into a federal army in alliance with the long-established ethnic rebel groups, who have provided the new groups with military training.

The fighting in Kayah is believed to be the first in which a local defense force conducted joint operations with an ethnic guerrilla group.

READ MORE: UN: Fresh fighting in east Myanmar displaces around 100,000

Source: Reuters