Saturday, August 8, 2009

Verdict on the trial of Aung San Su Kyi postponed due to pressure

IMNA - The verdict for the trial of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been postponed after increased pressure from politicians inside the country, as well as abroad in the international community, according to activists in Burmese political groups.

“The trial to imprison Daw Suu Kyi has been part of the military’s plan,” said U Aye Tha Aung, the secretary general of the Committee Representing the People’s Parliament (CRPP), he said in an interview with IMNA. “They [Burmese government] do not want her free in advance of the 2010 election. If she is released she could talk about the 2010 election and offer perspective on the [Burmese government’s] constitution. That is why it is impossible for them to release her.”

When the time came for the court to render a verdict on the previously appointed date of July 31st, the court put out a last minute extension to the judgment date, citing concerns that it needed to review the legal options. The new date for the court to read the verdict has been set for August 11th, 2009.

This is not first time the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi has been postponed. The trail was already in recess when UN secretary General Ban Ki Moon paid a recent visit to the Burmese government. The first postponement lasted until June 26th, to hear the testimony of defense witness Khin Moe Moe.

According to an article published the Burmese government state news paper, The New Light of Myanmar, two reasons have been given for the recent delay in the final stage of the trial. The first is for the court to reexamine the appropriateness of laws presiding over the trial, and the second is to address appeals that have been filed by both sides of the case.

U Aye Tha Aung explained that he believed without the release of Daw Aung San Su Kyi, the results from any election held by the military will be rejected outright. Also, that any government that comes to power in this way will also not be recognized by the international community.

The vice-chairman of the Mon National Democracy Front (MNDF), Nai Ngwe Thein, expressed his opinion, “The military court is probably planning to imprison her. The postponement of the case is due to pressure form the outside world and disagreement amongst the military groups.”

Nai Ngwe Thein believes that recent reports of a secret trip by Gen. Maung Aye to North Korea, and the construction of secret military tunnels, has led disagreement amongst the senior administration in the Burmese military government.

“But, in the case of a democratic icon [Suu Kyi], whether the outcome will be good or bad, it is still attracting the attention of the international community, who are watching closely,” he added.

U Nyan Win, a lawyer and spokesman with the NLD party who was also imprisoned 2 years ago, has been following the case in hopes of being able to provide council against illegal actions the court might try to take against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. He explained that if the court would actually act according to the law and legal judgment, the case would be fair and she would be easily released.

A Burma watcher, and lecturer at the university of Rangoon (whose name has been withheld for security purposes), offered his opinion, “According to the court of the military government, she [Daw Aung San] can be imprisoned. But if the SPDC hops to recover any face in the international community, she will have to be released. That is, I think, what they are playing is a game of chess…If they [SPDC] continue to uphold her arrest, there will be no unification from the 2010 election. From there they will not be recognized by the ASEAN governments as well as by the world community. And right now there is no participation in the coming election.”

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