Australia calls for immediate release of economist jailed by Myanmar

FILE PHOTO: Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong speaks during a news conference on the sidelines the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia rejects the court ruling in Myanmar against Australian Professor Sean Turnell and calls for his immediate release, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said on Thursday.

A closed court in military-ruled Myanmar on Thursday sentenced deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Turnell to three years in prison on charges of violating the official secrets act, a source familiar with the proceedings said. The source declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.

"The Australian government has consistently rejected the charges against Professor Turnell during the more than 19 months he had been unjustly detained by the Myanmar military regime," she said, adding Australia will continue to advocate for his release and return to Australia.

(Reporting by Lewis Jackson; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)