Oct 17, 2009

Myanmar opposition leader to appeal sentence at Supreme Court

Yangon – Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday agreed to allow defence lawyers to appeal to the Supreme Court against her recent sentence to 18 months under house detention.

“We will appeal the case up to the Supreme Court level and are preparing the appeal now,” said Nyan Win, one of four attorneys in Suu Kyi’s defence team.

Nyan Win met with Suu Kyi Friday afternoon at her house-cum-prison in Yangon, where she had spent 14 of the past 20 years under detention.

On October 2, the Yangon Division Court rejected Suu Kyi’s appeal against a lower court’s verdict on August 11 that found her guilty of violating the terms of her previous imprisonment by allowing US national John Yettaw to swim to her house of detention, a family compound that sits on Inya Lake.

Originally the Insein Prison Court sentenced Suu Kyi to three years in jail, but the term was commuted to 18 months under house detention by Myanmar’s junta supremo Senior General Than Shwe.

The detention term is sufficient to keep Suu Kyi, who heads the National League for Democracy (NLD) opposition party, out of the picture while the junta stages a general election some time next year.

The election is expected to be neither free nor fair.

The NLD won the last election of 1990 buy a landslide, but was blocked from assuming power by the military which has ruled Myanmar since 1962.