Junta publicly defends Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial

by Mungpi
Monday, 01 June 2009 22:56

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Burma’s military rulers said on Sunday that pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial is in keeping with its law and is an internal affair, where other countries should not interfere.

Major General Aye Myint, Burma’s Deputy Minister for Defence, at the Asia Security Conference in Singapore on Sunday said legal action was taken against Aung San Suu Kyi according to the law and as a respect to the rule of law.

Aye Myint said, the trial is a domestic affair and does not impose any threat to the peace and security of the region saying, “Thus, if any country interferes in the internal affairs of another country, that particular act may possibly affect the mutual understanding and friendly relationship between countries.”

Aye Myint’s speech is the first where Burma’s ruling junta has publicly defended the prosecution of democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, which the international community has dubbed a ploy to further detain her.

The Nobel Peace Laureate, who was shifted to Insein prison precincts from her lakeside home, is facing a trial under charges of flouting her house arrest terms by sheltering an uninvited American man, who allegedly swam across the Innya Lake alongside her house.
Her lawyer, Kyi Win said the man, John William Yettaw, had sneaked into her house and there is no reason to charge her for the conduct of a man, whom she has never known.

“Yettaw must bear the full responsibility and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is not guilty and is not violating her house arrest terms,” Kyi Win told Mizzima earlier.

The trial, which began on May 18, has concluded hearing all witnesses and the court has fixed Friday, June 5, as the final day of hearing of the lawyers’ arguments.

“Legally, we have a good case,” said Kyi Win, adding, however, that he is not sure whether they would win the case.

Nyan Win, a member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team and spokesperson for her party the National League for Democracy, told Mizzima on Monday that the defence team is preparing the final argument and met Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on Saturday in order to discuss the case.

“She looks fine, and we had discussions regarding the case and are now preparing the argument,” said Nyan Win adding that the defence team is ready to further appeal to higher courts if the court does sentence her.

But Win Tin, a central executive member of the NLD, earlier told Mizzima that the verdict of the trial is almost predictable and that he strongly believes the junta will sentence Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to imprisonment.

Similarly, a Rangoon-based journalist, who has been covering the trial, said “I think the case is ideal for the junta to find a pretext to charge, try and sentence Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

“The junta is likely to sentence her to three years at the minimum,” he said.

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