Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rangoon court postpones date for arguments

New Delhi (Mizzima) - The Rangoon High Court on Thursday indefinitely postponed the date for the submission of arguments over the request of defence counsels to reinstate two defence witnesses in the on going trial of Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Earlier in the day, the High Court received a petition by Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyer to reinstate two witnesses, whom the district court had barred, and fixed June 17 for the hearing of arguments on the request.

But hours later, Nyan Win, a member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team, said an official notice arrived in his office stating that the High Court had cancelled the June 17 court hearing and postponed it for later. The notice did not specify any other dates but simply said that it will be notified later.

“The notice came at about 4 p.m. (local time). A Deputy Director of the High Court came to my office, and informed that the court had cancelled the June 17 court hearing and that a fresh date will be notified later. I was not in my office at the time, but I was informed,” Nyan Win told Mizzima.

On Tuesday, the Rangoon divisional court, at the behest of the defence legal team allowed a second witness – Khin Moh Moh - to testify in the trial against the Nobel Peace Laureate.

The district court in Insein prison, where the Burmese pro-democracy leader is being tried, earlier rejected three out of the four witnesses presented by the defence team while allowing 14 prosecution witnesses to testify.

The defence team then appealed to the divisional court and obtained permission for the second witness to testify. But the divisional court also rejected the other two witnesses – Win Tin, a veteran journalist and central executive committee member of the NLD, and Tin Oo, vice-chairman of the NLD who is currently under house arrest.

Aung San Suu Kyi along with her two live-in party members – Khin Khin Win and Win Ma Ma – and the American man, John William Yettaw, is currently facing trial in the district court in Insein prison under charges of violating her house arrest law and “harbouring” Yettaw, who sneaked into her lakeside home after swimming nearly two kilometres in the Innya lake.

The district court has completed the hearing of all prosecution witnesses and one defence witness out of four presented by Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers and has fixed June 12, for the final argument by lawyers from both sides in the case.

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