No bidders present at Myanmar auction for $90 million sale of Suu Kyi's home

(Reuters) – No bidders showed up on Wednesday at an auction in Myanmar for the sale of the home of jailed former leader Aung San Suu Kyi, for which the starting price had been set at around $90 million, a witness and local media reported.

The family property on Yangon’s Inye Lake, measuring 1.923 acres (0.78 hectares) was up for auction at the behest of the Supreme Court after a years-long legal battle between Suu Kyi, who was ousted in a 2021 coup, and her estranged brother Aung San Oo.

“No buyer came today so the officer in charge of the auction already left,” the witness told Reuters, requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.

The information was also reported by BBC Burmese.

Aung San Oo could not immediately be reached for comment. A spokesperson for Myanmar’s military government did not immediately respond to efforts to seek comment.

Nobel laureate Suu Kyi is serving 27 years in detention at an undisclosed location for a multitude of offences her supporters say are fabricated.

She had lived in the decrepit, colonial-style villa for the bulk of the more than three decades she has spent in Myanmar since returning from Britain, including 15 years of house arrest under a previous junta.

Suu Kyi moved residence to the capital Naypyitaw to attend parliament after her release and remained there as Myanmar’s de facto leader until her February 2021 ouster.

She gave impassioned speeches to crowds of supporters over the metal gates of the house and it was the site of some of her most high-profile meetings, including with former U.S. president Barack Obama and secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

The family home was handed down by her mother, Khin Kyi, after the assassination of her father and independence hero General Aung San in 1947.

The 78-year-old’s estranged brother, Aung San Oo first sued in 2000 for a share of the property. In 2016, a court rendered a verdict dividing the plot equally among the siblings.

Aung San Oo appealed unsuccessfully multiple times for the court to have the property sold by auction and the proceeds split between him and Suu Kyi. Following the coup, the Supreme Court granted his special appeal and ruled to sell the property by auction.

(Reporting by Reuters Staff; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)

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