Thursday, July 23, 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi meets lawyers to oversee final argument

by Mungpi & Myint Maung

New Delhi (Mizzima) - Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday met her legal counsels and discussed the final argument to be submitted in court in Rangoon’s Insein prison on Friday.

Kyi Win, a member of the legal team, told Mizzima that he along with three other colleagues – Nyan Win, Hla Myo Myint and Khin Htay Kywe – on Thursday met Aung San Suu Kyi for about two hours. They made a few changes in the draft final argument.

“Tomorrow [Friday] we will submit the argument and Hla Myo Myint will speak in her defence,” Kyi Win said.

On Wednesday, the defence team was not allowed to meet the detained opposition leader, but since it needed to consult her on the draft final argument, Kyi Win said he had reapplied for permission, which was eventually granted.

“Officials came and informed us on Thursday that we have been granted permission. They took us to the prison at about 2 p.m. (local time). We concluded our meeting at about 4 p.m.” Kyi Win said.

He, however, refused to talk about the contents of the final argument. He only said that the defence will prove Aung San Suu Kyi’s innocence.

The special court in Insein, where the Noble Peace Laureate is on trial since May 18, has fixed Friday, July 24 for the hearing of the final argument by lawyers from both sides - the prosecution and the defence.

With only the hearing of the final argument and pronouncement of the verdict remaining, Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial is approaching the last lap.

Asked what he expected would be the outcome of the trial, Kyi Win, however, declined to comment saying “As it is a legal proceeding, I would not like to comment before the trial is over. Please bear with us, because it will not take much longer to complete the trial”.

But Dr. Win Naing, one of the spokesperson for the National League for Democracy (NLD) said since the junta has set-up the whole thing to charge Aung San Suu Kyi, “I think it [junta] will find a way to sentence her.”

The Burmese democracy icon has been charged for flouting the terms of her detention and ‘harbouring’ an American, John Yettaw, who sneaked into her lakeside home in early May. If found guilty, she could be sentenced up to five years in prison.

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