Friday, July 24, 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers present arguments in conclusion

by Mungpi

New Delhi (Mizzima) - Lawyers defending Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi presented their final argument on Friday saying if she is being charged under the1974 constitution, she must be released and allowed to enjoy the rights mentioned in the constitution.

Kyi Win, personal lawyer and member of the defence team of Aung San Suu Kyi, on Friday presented his argument at the special court in Insein prison but the court postponed the prosecution argument till Monday.

Nyan Win, a member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team and spokesperson for her party, said “the session started at 2pm and U Kyi Win submitted his argument. His submission alone lasted about two hours.”

The court adjourned at 4:40 p.m. as it ran out of time to continue with the hearing of the prosecution’s argument. The court fixed July 27 for the hearing of the arguments of the prosecution.

Nyan Win said Aung San Suu Kyi was unhappy with the time being limited that barred the prosecution lawyers from presenting their argument on the same day.

“She [Aung San Suu Kyi] wanted to hear the prosecution’s argument the same day and she was unhappy with postponement of the argument to Monday,” Nyan Win said.

During the session, Kyi Win argued that the 1974 constitution has been technically dissolved and Aung San Suu Kyi cannot be charged under the statutes of a defunct constitution.

But if, according to the prosecution, the 1974 constitution is still valid, it cannot be partially implemented and Aung San Suu Kyi should get her freedom and enjoy her rights as stated in the constitution before being charged for anything.

The Burmese pro-democracy leader has been charged for violating her house arrest terms by ‘harbouring’ an American, John William Yettaw, who swam across a lake and entered her home uninvited in early May.

If convicted, she could face up to five years in prison.

The session on Friday, is part of the final stage of the trial, which has been conducted behind closed-doors since May 18. But surprisingly, the authorities on Friday allowed diplomats from Britain, Germany, France and Italy to be present.

While a few hope that Aung San Suu Kyi will be declared innocent, the widespread speculation is that the junta has used the incident of Yettaw as a pretext to charge her and sentence her to yet another prison term.

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