According to a legal official, a court in military-ruled Myanmar convicted former leader Aung San Suu Kyi in another criminal case Thursday and sentenced Australian economist Sean Turnell to three years in prison for violating Myanmar’s official secrets act.

According to the official, Suu Kyi received a three-year sentence after being tried and convicted with Turnell under the secrets law. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to release information about the case.

Three members of her Cabinet were also found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison.

Turnell, an associate professor of economics at Sydney’s Macquarie University, had been an adviser to Suu Kyi, who was imprisoned in the capital Naypyitaw after her elected government was deposed by the army on Feb. 1,2021.

He has been detained for nearly 20 months. He was apprehended by security forces at a hotel in Yangon, the country’s largest city, five days after the military takeover, while waiting for a car to take him to the city’s international airport.

He had only recently returned to Myanmar from Australia to begin a new job as a special consultant to Aung San Suu Kyi. He had already been in Naypyitaw for several years as the director of the Myanmar Development Institute.

When Turnell and Suu Kyi testified in their defense at the trial in August, they denied the allegations.

Turnell was also charged with breaking immigration laws, but it was unclear what sentence he received.

The possession, collection, recording, publishing, or sharing of state information that is “directly or indirectly useful to an enemy” is illegal under Myanmar’s colonial-era official secrets act. The maximum penalty for the charge is 14 years in prison.

The trial was held in a purpose-built courtroom in Naypyitaw’s main prison, with all sessions closed to the media and public. A gag order prevented the defense lawyers from discussing the proceedings.

All of Suu Kyi’s trials have been subject to the same restrictions.

The case that ended on Thursday is one of several that Suu Kyi has faced, and it is widely perceived as an attempt to discredit her in order to prevent her return to politics. She was already sentenced to 20 years in prison for illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies, violating coronavirus restrictions, sedition, election fraud, and five counts of corruption. The cases are widely perceived as being staged in order to prevent Suu Kyi, 77, from returning to active politics.

Suu Kyi is still being tried on seven counts under the country’s anti-corruption law, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine.

Turnell, Suu Kyi, and three former ministers are expected to file appeals in the secrets case in the coming days, according to a legal official: Soe Win and Kyaw Win, both former ministers of planning and finance, and Set Aung, a former deputy minister in the same ministry.

Approximately a half-dozen foreigners have been arrested on political charges since the army takeover, and they have all been deported following their convictions.

Turnell’s release has been repeatedly demanded by Australia. Because of the military takeover and Turnell’s continued detention, it suspended defense cooperation with Myanmar and began redirecting humanitarian aid last year.

When Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen visited Myanmar in January of this year, he requested Turnell’s release during a meeting with the leader of the ruling military council. Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing responded that he “would positively consider it.”

When she met with Min Aung Hlaing in August, UN Special Envoy to Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer said she conveyed a specific request from Australia for Turnell’s release. According to Myanmar’s government, the general responded that if the Australian government takes positive steps, “we will not need to take stern measures.”

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a rights monitoring organization, 15,683 people have been detained in Myanmar on political charges since the army took over, with 12,540 still detained. According to the group, at least 2,324 civilians were killed by security forces during the same time period, though the figure is likely much higher.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the takeover, which sparked nationwide protests that the military government quashed with lethal force, sparking armed resistance that some United Nations experts now describe as civil war.