The Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi spent over six hours in court during her trial on Friday as government prosecutors questioned a defense witness, according to Suu Kyi’s lawyer.
“The trial started at 10 am, broke for one-hour from 12 pm to 1 pm, and then continued from 1 pm until 5 pm—it was long trial,” said Nyan Win, a lawyer for Suu Kyi.
Nyan Win said most of the trial on Friday was spent by prosecutors and defense lawyers arguing over whether Law Section 22 charging Suu Kyi was still in effect. Section 22 was enacted under the 1974 constitution, but the constitution was abolished by the current regime after the coup in September 1988.
Section 22 of the law safeguards the state against the dangers of those desiring to cause subversive acts. Suu Kyi has been charged under this section by Burmese authorities for allowing the American intruder John W.Yettaw to stay at her house while she was under house arrest.
“Prosecutors argued that the law is still effective. But we denied this was the case because the 1974 constitution was abolished in 1988,” Nyan Win said.
The defense witness, Khin Moe Moe, who is also a lawyer, testified at the court today in relation to Section 22.
Suu Kyi has only been allowed one defense witness in the case, as Win Tin and Tin Oo, who are leaders of the National League for Democracy, were banned from testifying.
According Nyan Win, the court has set July 24 for hearing final arguments in the case.
If she is found guilty, Suu Kyi could face up to five years imprisonment.
Burmese observers say the junta is prosecuting Suu Kyi to show the world that they will not tolerate any outside interference.