Suu Kyi witness ban challenged

Refusal of more defence witnesses prompts an appeal by Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyers.

    Aung San Suu Kyi faces five years in
    jail if convicted [Reuters]

    "We will give our statement to the Yangon divisional court asking that they should accept our three defence witnesses," Nyan Win, one of her lawyers, told AFP.

    "According to the law they should accept this revision."


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    Kyi Win, her main lawyer, said on Tuesday that the prosecution had called 14 witnesses against one for the defence.

    "If you look at the numbers it is one-sided, and that is why we have made this application," he told AFP news agency.

    The three barred witnesses were Win Tin, a journalist who was Myanmar's longest serving prisoner until his release in September; Tin Oo, the detained deputy leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD), headed by Aung San Suu Kyi; and
    Khin Moe Moe, a lawyer.

    Nyan Win also said that the defence's preparations for final arguments in the case, which are due on Friday, were "almost finished".

    Aung San Suu Kyi has already spent 13 of the past 19 years in detention, most of them at her house on Yangon's Inya Lake.

    The case has been condemned internationally as a "show trial" to keep her detained during the regime's promised elections next year.

    'Religious fervour'

    Myanmar's ruling generals say the case is an internal matter, accusing Aung San Suu Kyi of covering up Yettaw's visit and saying the incident was planned by "internal and external anti-government elements".

    As the trial nears a possible end, the lawyer for Yettaw said his client was motivated by religious fervour rather than criminal intent and should receive a light sentence.

    Khin Maung Oo said on Wednesday: "I am confident my client could face a lenient sentence. He had no criminal intent and the only criminal charge he could face would be for lurking house-trespass.''

    Lurking house-trespass is a legal term used in Myanmar.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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