Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Divisional Court accepts appeal of Suu Kyi’s case

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Rangoon Divisional Court on Wednesday accepted an appeal by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers to review the rejection of defense witnesses by the sitting court in Insein Prison.

One of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers, Nyan Win, had gone to the Divisional Court to appeal the rejection of defense witnesses by the Northern District Court in Insein Prison.

“The Divisional Court has demanded the case from the Insein court for review. Lawyers from both sides will appear before the Divisional Court on June 5th at 3 p.m. (local time) for review of the case,” Nyan Win told Mizzima.

The Divisional Court gave the order on Wednesday for review of the case against Aung San Suu Kyi after her legal team submitted an appeal over the rejection of defense witnesses by the Northern District Court.

On May 27th, the special court in Insein prison rejected three of the four defense witnesses – Tin Oo, Win Tin and Khin Mo Mo – but did not provide any reasons for their decision. Nyan Win, a member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team, after obtaining a copy of the order found that it made no mention of the terms for the rejection of the witnesses.

Nyan Win then approached the office of the Divisional Court Judge and appealed for a review as to why the defense witnesses were rejected.

Earlier, the Insein court had fixed June 5th for the hearing of final arguments by lawyers from both sides. But Nyan Win said, “Since the Divisional Court has accepted to review the case, final arguments will have to be postponed.”

“It is against the law to reject defense witnesses. Our argument is that the defense witnesses should also get a chance to testify at the court,” Nyan Win said.

He, however, did not wish to comment further on the prospects of the court proceedings and any possible verdict.

Earlier, Kyi Win, another member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team, said, “Legally, she is innocent." But observers and critics believe the junta is determined to pass a verdict that will sentence her to yet another period of detention.

The Nobel Peace Laureate is facing a trial under charges of breaching her detention law after an American man sneaked into her lakeside home in early May. According to Burmese law, she could be sentenced up to five years if found guilty.

Reporting by Salai Zamte, writing by Mungpi

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