Friday, May 15, 2009

'I did not commit any crime': Aung San Suu Kyi

by May Kyaw

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Aung San Suu Kyi, who was transferred to Insein prison from house arrest to face trial on charges framed by the Burmese junta said through her lawyer today that she did not commit any crime.

Aung San Suu Kyi said to this to her lawyer Kyi Win when she was produced before the Rangoon West District Court inside the Insein prison.

"I didn't commit any crime," her lawyer Kyi Win quoted her as saying to Mizzima

"She didn't say these words off hand. She has already read the charge sheet filed against her and knew well under which section the charge was framed," he added.

Aung San Suu Kyi was produced before the Rangoon West District Court inside Insein prison today along with her two live-in companions who take care of her, Khin Khin Win and her daughter, and US citizen John William Yeattaw who intruded into her residence.

"The case No. is 47/2009. All four of them were produced before the court simultaneously," said Hla Myo Myint, assistant to her lawyer Kyi Win.

The authorities took Aung San Kyi, Khin Khin Win and her daughter from her residence to Insein prison this morning under police escort.

The court framed charges against Aung San Suu Kyi with breaching of the internment order and failing to comply with this order imposed under the 1975 Law Safeguarding the State from Destructive Elements (popularly known as State Protection Law).

Under this section, it is punishable by 3 to 5 years in prison or Kyat 5,000 fine or both.

"This man came voluntarily and uninvited. She harboured him only on humanitarian grounds. In their internment order, there is no such restriction mentioned. How can one breach the law without any restrictions in this regard? Therefore we say she did not commit any crime," party spokesman Nyan Win said.

When the internment order was issued, Aung San Suu Kyi was barred from contacting embassies, political parties, persons related with these political parties, barred from going outside, and from contacting the outside world even over mail and telephone.

Khin Khin Win and her daughter Win Ma Ma were charged under section 22/209 for abetting a destructive element who committed crime against the State.

The intruder US citizen John William Yeattaw was charged under section 22/109, abetting the destructive element against the State, under section 28 of Rangoon Municipal Act, intruding into a restricted area, and under section 13(1) of Immigration Act. His case No. is 49/2009.

The Rangoon Municipal Act is a British colony era law which can punish anyone who trespasses a restricted place within the Rangoon Municipal area.

An official from the US embassy in Burma went to Insein prison where Yeattaw was produced before the court with an interpreter.

Today's trial was attended by presiding judge Thaung Nyunt, advisory judge Nyi Nyi Soe and District Law Officer Myint Kyaing.

Aung San Suu Kyi is currently in custody and in judicial remand and the next hearing is fixed for May 18. Lawyers Nyan Win, Kyi Win and Hla Myo Myint will represent Aung San Suu Kyi, Khin Khin Win and her daughter Win Ma Ma.

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