by Myint Maung
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 22:14
New Delhi (Mizzima) – To tie up the loose ends and sew up the final argument on the trial of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, her defence counsels will be meeting her on Friday July 17, in Rangoon’s notorious Insein prison, where she is being detained.
Nyan Win, a member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team and spokesperson for her political party National League for Democracy on Wednesday told Mizzima that they are negotiating with the authorities to allow more meetings with their party leader.
“So far we have confirmed the meeting on Friday. But we are still negotiating with the authorities,” he said.
Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged and put on trial since mid-May, for violating her detention laws and ‘harboring’ an American man, who secretly sneaked into her lakeside villa in early May.
The special court in Insein prison has fixed July 24 for the hearing of the final arguments from both lawyers. The court is expected to come up with a verdict after hearing the final argument.
Nyan Win said, the defence team has prepared a 20-page final argument and will seek the approval of the accused, Aung San Suu Kyi. “This is the second draft of the final argument. We will show it to Daw Suu and if she finds it necessary to amend it, we will do so,” said Nyan Win. But he refused to reveal the contents saying it will be an argument rejecting the charges and to prove Aung San Suu Kyi’s innocence.
Should she be found guilty the Burmese democracy icon could face up to five years in prison. She has spent more than 13 of the past 19 years in detention, mostly under house arrest.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told reporters in New York that the Burmese junta’s proposed general elections in 2010 will lack credibility unless the regime frees Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners.
Ban, who early this month paid a two-day visit to Burma, on Monday briefed the UN Security Council saying he was ‘deeply disappointed’ over Burma’s military supremo Snr. Gen Than Shwe’s refusal to allow him a meeting with the detained opposition leader.
After Ban’s briefing, Burma’s Ambassador to the UN Than Swe said, the Burmese government is preparing to announce amnesty for prisoners in order to allow them to participate in the 2010 elections. He, however, did not mention how many political prisoners would be released and whether they would include Aung San Suu Kyi.
NLD leaders, however, said they are skeptical about the junta’s declaration saying it could be another ploy to divert the attention of the international community.
“We really do not hope for much from this announcement because even when they released over 9,000 prisoners earlier, only about 30 political prisoners were included. So, even this time, it might just be the same thing,” they added.