Suu Kyi expects 'obvious' verdict

Detained Myanmar opposition leader sceptical over the outcome of her trial.

    Critics say the trial is part of a plan to keep Aung San Suu Kyi in jail during next year's election [EPA]

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    "I'm afraid the verdict will be painfully obvious," she was quoted as saying.

    The case against Aung San Suu Kyi began on May 18, where she was charged with violating the terms of her house arrest detention by allegedly harbouring an American man who swam uninvited to her lakeside home and stayed there for two days.

    A conviction could see her jailed up to five years.

    The American, John Yettaw, is also on trial, as are two female aides who have been the opposition leader's sole companions during her house arrest.

    Aung San Suu Kyi, who is also the leader of Myanmar's main opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party, has spent nearly 14 of the last 20 years under house arrest.

    Diplomats from Japan, Singapore, Thailand and the United States were allowed to attend the final day of her trial on Tuesday.

    Invalid law

    Defence lawyers argue the terms the charges against Aung San Suu Kyi are not valid [AFP]
    The opposition leader's lawyers - who have not contested the facts of the case  - have consistently argued  that the law used by the authorities is invalid because it applies to a constitution abolished two decades ago.

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

    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' apparent determination to neutralise, if not jail, her.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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