x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Suu Kyi to appeal

Lawyers for Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi say they will lodge an appeal today against her conviction.

Lawyers for Myanmar pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi said they would lodge an appeal today against her conviction on charges relating to an incident in which an American man swam to her home. The Nobel laureate was ordered to spend 18 more months under house arrest after a court on August 11 found her guilty of breaking security laws by giving shelter to US national John Yettaw at her lakeside residence.

"We will submit the appeal this afternoon. Aung San Suu Kyi's conviction is not in accordance with the law but we will have to wait to see whether the court agrees to hear the appeal," her main lawyer Kyi Win said. He said the appeal would focus on the fact that a 1974 constitution under which the ruling junta had detained Suu Kyi had been superseded by a new constitution that was approved in a controversial referendum last year.

"Altogether there are 11 reasons for the appeal, but the main thing we will point out is about the constitution," Kyi Win said. The 64-year-old Suu Kyi had insisted on her innocence during the trial held at Yangon's notorious Insein Prison, saying that she allowed former military veteran Mr Yettaw to stay for two nights at her home because he was ill. Mr Yettaw was sentenced to seven years' hard labour for the stunt in early May but was freed after a visit by US senator Jim Webb last month, on what the regime said were compassionate grounds because of health problems.