Suu Kyi expects painfully obvious verdict

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Suu Kyi
London, Jul 29: Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is facing an almost certain criminal conviction and a sentence of up to five years in prison from a Rangoon court, has said that she is 'painfully expecting an obvious verdict'.

Suu Kyi has been on trial for the past two-and-a-half-months, and her lawyers gave their reply to the prosecution's final arguments in a court in Insein prison, Rangoon on Tuesday, Jul 28.

She has been accused of violating the terms of her lengthy house arrest by giving shelter to an eccentric American, John Yettaw, who entered the lakeside home where she has spent 14 of the past 20 years in detention.

Speaking softly, Suu Kyi stood and turned to diplomats attending the hearing and said, "I'm afraid the verdict will be painfully obvious."

Only diplomats from the US, Japan, Singapore and Thailand were allowed to attend the last day of the trial.

Her lawyers held out little hope of an acquittal when the verdict is delivered.

"We have a good chance according to the law but we cannot know what the court will decide because this is a political case," said Nyan Win, a lawyer for Suu Kyi and the spokesman for her party, the National League for Democracy.

"I have never seen any defendant in a political case being set free. We have done our best and she is prepared for the worst," The Times quoted Win, as saying.

Suu Kyi maintains that she did nothing wrong in giving food and shelter to Yettaw, and added that she refrained from handing him over to the authorities to avoid bringing trouble on him and on the police who were supposed to have been guarding her house.

Yettaw has been charged with immigration violations and with swimming in an unauthorised place, as well as with abetting Suu Kyi in violating the terms of her house arrest.

Like her, he could be sentenced to five years in jail if convicted, along with Suu Kyi's two female companions.

ANI

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