Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Suu Kyi Tells Rangoon Court She’s Innocent


Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi testified for the first time at her trial on Tuesday, denying that she had violated any law by giving shelter to John William Yettaw, who is being tried in the same court.

Reporters and diplomats were again allowed to attend the trial, after witnessing one afternoon session last week. They said that when a judge asked her whether she had breached the terms of her house arrest by allowing Yettaw to stay for two nights at her Rangoon lakeside home, she replied: “I didn’t violate any law.”

A Buddhist monk, center, stands next to riot police officers at a checkpoint on a road to the main entrance of Insein Prison where the trial of detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is ongoing. (Photo: AP)

Suu Kyi presented to the court a letter she had written, explaining why she felt she had not broken any law, according to her lawyer, Nyan Win, who also is a spokesperson of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy.

"She claimed in her letter she did not commit any crime because she was detained by security forces tightly,” Nyan Win told The Irrawaddy. “If the security had been proper, the American would not have got here."

Suu Kyi said one of her two women companions alerted her at 5 a.m. On May 3 that Yettaw had entered the property.

"I allowed him to have temporary shelter," Suu Kyi said when asked about charges that she had given Yettaw food and allowed him to stay.

"I did not inform them," she said when asked by the judge whether she had told security authorities about the intrusion. No security personnel had been inside her residence during Yettaw’s stay, she said.

Suu Kyi said Yettaw left at 11:45 p.m. On May 5. "I only knew that he went to the lakeside. I did not know which way he went because it was dark," she said.

Asked about police evidence that books and other items belonging to Yettaw—including a video camera, black Muslim robes, stockings and dark glasses—had been found in her home, Suu Kyi said: “Yettaw himself would know rather than me.”

One newsman said 10 journalists from local journals, 15 reporters from Rangoon- based foreign media and 19 diplomats were allowed to attend Tuesday’s proceedings in the Insein Prison courtroom.

He said they all rose to their feet as a sign of respect when Suu Kyi entered the court room, remaining standing even when a policeman indicated they should sit. They only sat down after Suu Kyi had taken her seat after she finished a discussion with her lawyers.

Suu Kyi and her lawyers left after her testimony, and the court continued in closed session, resuming the case against Yettaw. Reporters and diplomats were barred.

Yettaw is on trial for immigration violations and for breaching municipal sanitation codes by swimming in the lake. He faces a possible sentence of six years imprisonment.

The court accepted on Friday the prosecution’s charge that Suu Kyi’s had violated the terms of her house arrest by allowing Yettaw to stay at her home.

Recent Posts from Burma Wants Freedom and Democracy

Recent posts from WHO is WHO in Burma


The Nuke Light of Myanmar Fan Box
The Nuke Light of Myanmar on Facebook
Promote your Page too