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Asia-Pacific
Lawyers to appeal Suu Kyi verdict
Supporters of Myanmar opposition leader say conviction a "violation of justice".
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2009 11:47 GMT
Aung San Suu Kyi and John Yettaw plan to exhaust Myanmar's appeal system [AFP]

Lawyers representing Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and US national John Yettaw have said they both plan to lodge appeals against their convictions for breaking the country's internal security laws.

Speaking to reporters lawyer Nyan Win said the appeals would be filed because they were "not satisfied" with the judgement, which stemmed from an incident in which Yettaw swam uninvited to Aung San Suu Kyi's lakeside home in May.

"We assume that the judgement is totally wrong according to the law," he told the AFP news agency, adding that he had received approval from Aung San Suu Kyi to go ahead with the appeal.

Win Tin, a former political prisoner and member of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), said the verdict was unacceptable and a "violation of justice".

Speaking to Al Jazeera, he said the NLD officials were hopeful that they would secure a more favourable verdict in a higher court.

In depth


 Video: World leaders condemn Suu Kyi verdict
 Video: Aung San Suu Kyi convicted

Profiles:

 Aung San Suu Kyi
 
Suu Kyi's uninvited guest

The convictions on Tuesday saw Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest extended for another 18 months, while Yettaw, a Vietnam war veteran who suffers from epilepsy, was sentenced to seven years of hard labour and imprisonment.

Nyan Win said the appeal process could begin immediately once they received a copy of the judgement.

Khin Maung Oo, the lawyer representing Yettaw, said they would also appeal "step-by-step" to the Myanmar court system.

If necessary, he said, he would write to senior officials in Myanmar's military government to ask for Yettaw to be deported.

He said his client was "very calm" and "hopes for the best".

Sentence commuted

In Tuesday's sentencing, judges originally sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi to three years of hard labour and imprisonment.

But that sentence was immediately commuted on the orders of Senior General Than Shwe, head of Myanmar's military government, to 18 months house arrest.

In a statement Than Shwe Than said he had reduced the sentence to "maintain peace and tranquillity and because Aung San Suu Kyi was the daughter of Aung San, a revered hero who won Myanmar's independence from Britain.

During the trial Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyers had argued that the law used to charge her was invalid because it applied to a constitution abolished two decades ago.

They also said that government guards stationed outside Aung San Suu Kyi's compound should be held responsible for any intrusion in her property.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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