Date set for Suu Kyi verdict

Court to deliver verdict on Friday in trial of Myanmar opposition leader.

    The trial has drawn protests from Myanmar exiles and human rights groups around the world [GALLO/GETTY]

    The leader of Myanmar's main opposition National League for Democracy party, has spent nearly 14 of the last 20 years under house arrest.

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    Nyan Win, Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyer, had said earlier on Tuesday that he expected the verdict to take several weeks.

    "We have done our best and she is prepared for the worst," he told reporters.

    "We are confident that we will win the case if things go according to the law."

    Diplomats from Japan, Singapore, Thailand and the United States were allowed to attend the final day of the trial on Tuesday, a diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

    Aung San Suu Kyi is widely expected to be convicted in a country where courts are known to rule in favour of the military government which has ruled since 1962.

    Critics have said the trial is a sham based on charges trumped up by the military in order to keep her behind bars through elections planned for next year.

    But neither international outrage nor offers of closer ties with the US if she is freed appear to have been able to deflect the military rulers' determination to neutralise, if not jail, her.

    Amnesty award

    Irish rock band U2 announced the award during a concert in Dublin on Monday [AFP]
    On Monday human rights watchdog Amnesty International said it was awarding Aung San Suu Kyi its highest honour in recognition of her defence of human rights and democracy.

    Amnesty said it hoped the Ambassador of Conscience award would help deter Myanmar's military government from imposing any harsh new punishment on her.

    "In those long and often dark years, Aung San Suu Kyi has remained a symbol of hope, courage and the undying defence of human rights, not only to the people of Myanmar but to people around the world," Irene Khan, Amnesty's secretary-general, said in a statement.

    At a Monday night concert in Dublin, Bono, the lead singer of rock group U2, announced Amnesty's award before 80,000 cheering fans.


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