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A military tribunal in strife-torn Burma has sentenced two high-ranking generals to life imprisonment after they were found guilty of high treason, accepting bribes, illegal possession of foreign currency and violating military discipline, state-run media reported Wednesday.
The sentences appeared to be the harshest so far for the senior members of the military’s administrative bodies that were set up after the army seized power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi more than 2 1/2 years ago. The country has been in turmoil since then, with widespread armed resistance to military rule.
The officers include Lt. Gen. Moe Myint Tun, who had been army chief of staff, served as a member of the military’s ruling State Administration Council and chaired three major economic supervisory bodies. He was sentenced “to suffer transportation” for a 20-year term equal to a life sentence.
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Moe Myint Tun and Yan Naung Soe, two high-ranking generals in Burma, have been found guilty of high treason and corruption. (Fox News)
“Transportation” is an archaic legal term meaning banishment to a remote place, usually a penal colony.
Yan Naung Soe, a brigadier general who served as a joint secretary of one of the committees that Moe Myint Tun chaired, received the same prison sentence, according to the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper.
Both were described as former generals in the report, meaning that they had already been dismissed from the army.
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Last month, the two officers were reportedly detained in the capital Naypyitaw and investigated, following the arrests of scores of private business operators who allegedly bribed Moe Myint Tun and his subordinates. Moe Myint Tun was removed from the State Administration Council in a reshuffle in late September.
In a meeting held a few days after the reshuffle, Burma’s military leader Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing was reported to have told his fellow ruling council members that they had been appointed because they were regarded as trustworthy, and those who abuse their rank would be suspended and punished.