Aung San Suu Kyi herself, who has been detained for 14 of the past 20 years, was barred from attending Monday's hearing.

She was initially sentenced last August to three years in prison with hard labour, but that sentence was commuted by General Than Shwe, Myanmar's top military ruler.

Last month a lower court upheld her sentence, and if the supreme court backs that decision it will mean she will be unable to participate in elections Myanmar's military government has said will take place later this year.

The planned vote, widely criticised by opponents of the military, is expected sometime in 2010, although no firm date has yet been announced.

It would be the first election held in Myanmar in two decades.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won a landslide victory in the last election held in 1990, but the results were never honoured by the military which has ruled Myanmar since 1962.