Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Suu Kyi Court Continues Hearing Prosecution Witnesses

The Irrawaddy News

Prosecution witnesses continued to give evidence on the second day of Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial before a special court in Rangoon’s Insein Prison on Tuesday.

Sources within her National League for Democracy (NLD) said Suu Kyi and other defendants were not allowed to testify.

An artist’s impression of Aung San Suu Kyi’s appearance before a secret court in Rangoon’s Insein Prison, based on descriptions of the scene by courtroom sources. (Illustration: Harn Lay/ The Irrawaddy)

Evidence was heard on Tuesday from five government officials, including police Lt-Col Maung Muang Khin of the Criminal Investigation Department, and immigration officer Myat Twin, according to the NLD sources.

The sources said Suu Kyi was brought into the courtroom by women security officers.

Speaking on Tuesday to The Irrawaddy, one of Suu Kyi’s former lawyers, Aung Thein, who has been barred from defending her, challenged the official account of the circumstances leading to the NLD leader’s arrest and arraignment.

State-run newspapers reported on Tuesday that an American citizen, John William Yettaw, swam twice across Inya Lake to Suu Kyi’s home, in November 2008 and again this month.

On his second visit, Suu Kyi had allowed him to stay for two nights, giving him food and drink, the official reports said.

Aung Thein described the official version of events as “a story.” Suu Kyi’s house was well guarded by security men, who were also posted on the banks of the lake, he said.

Another lawyer, Kyi Win, said Suu Kyi had told Yettaw to leave her house, but he had refused. She did not report him to the authorities because she did not want anybody to get into trouble, Kyi Win said.

Suu Kyi’s doctor, Tin Myo Win, was also arrested last week and accused of knowing about Yettaw’s visit, but he was later released.

“Why didn’t they [the authorities] take action when Dr Tin Myo Win informed them that a US citizen had entered the house?” he asked.

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