Aung San Suu Kyi’s Sole Defense Witness to Testify in Trial
|Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (2008 file)|
A defense witness in Burma’s widely criticized trial of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will appear in court Thursday to testify against allegations she violated the terms of her house arrest.
Legal expert Kyi Win, who is also one of Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers, is the only defense witness allowed to testify in the trial.
The court has already rejected three other witnesses, who all belong to Burma’s opposition National League for Democracy. The trial could end as early as this week.
The international community has loudly criticized the trial of the 63-year-old Nobel Peace prize laureate, with President Barack Obama calling her a victim of “show trial.”
The Burmese government claims Aung San Suu Kyi is a threat to national security, and has kept her under house arrest for more than 13 of the past 19 years.
In its state media, New Light of Myanmar Thursday, Burma’s military-led government argued that the trial is legal and not political.
Elections will be held
The Burmese government said the trial would not have any impact on politics and stressed that it is going ahead with its plans to hold democratic elections next year.
Aung San Suu Kyi is being tried because she gave shelter to an American man who swam to her house uninvited in the early morning hours of May 4.
Defense witness Kyi Win is expected to testify that Aung San Suu Kyi did not violate her house arrest and that it was the job of government guards outside her home to keep John Yettaw out.
Vision from God
During his testimony earlier in the week, John Yettaw testified that he received a vision from God that terrorists planned to assassinate her.
He reportedly told the court that God told him to come to Burma to warn Aung San Suu Kyi.
The pro-democracy leader testified Tuesday she gave Yettaw “temporary shelter” until he left the next day. Her lawyers say she asked the 53-year-old American to leave, but allowed him to stay overnight after he said he was too exhausted and ill to swim back.
Yettaw is also facing trial as are Aung San Suu Kyi’s two caretakers.