People walk past barricades placed on a road to Insein Prison as the trial of Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi resume at the prison Friday. (Photo: AP)
The legal team of Burma’s detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was permitted access to the 64-year-old pro-democracy leader on Thursday, a day before her trial resumes for final arguments, one of her lawyers said.
Kyi Win, who was one of the defense lawyers who met Suu Kyi, told The Irrawaddy on Thursday that they were allowed to see her for two hours at around noon to discuss her final arguments.“We discussed what we should say and what we should not say,” said Kyi Win. However, he didn’t provide further details of the discussions.
“Tomorrow [Friday] we will request that Suu Kyi is released,” said Kyi Win.
Suu Kyi’s lawyers were denied access to her on Wednesday. However, the junta agreed to allow a visit after the defense team presented a letter.
Suu Kyi is charged with violating the terms of her house arrest by allegedly harboring an uninvited American man who swam secretly to her lakeside home and reportedly stayed for two days. She is being detained at Burma’s notorious Insein Prison. Suu Kyi’s trial has drawn condemnation from the international community, as well as local supporters, who worry the ruling junta has found an excuse to keep her detained through elections planned for next year. If found guilty, she could face five years in prison.
Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for Suu Kyi’s release at an Asean meeting in Thailand.
According to Agence France-Presse, Clinton said that the regional bloc should consider kicking out the military-ruled member state if it doesn’t free the National League for democracy (NLD) leader.
However, on Thursday, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said, “There are not enough grounds to do that [expel Myanmar]. We have already done what we can under the Asean mechanism.”
Speaking as current chair of the 10-state grouping, the Thai premier said that while Asean and the West have the same goal, “we cannot implement the same policy.”
“If Myanmar is expelled it will further isolate [the regime] and would that solve the problem?” he added.
Suu Kyi has spent nearly 14 of the past 20 years in detention since the junta refused to recognize the NLD’s landslide victory in elections in 1990.