Suu Kyi meets lawyers over house dispute

Aug 7, 2009 (DVB), Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with her lawyers yesterday to discuss the dispute over ownership of the house in which she has been imprisoned for 13 of the last 19 years.

The lawyers met with Suu Kyi for two hours inside Insein prison, where she has been held during a trial in which she is accused of breaching conditions of her house arrest.

A dispute has arisen after Suu Kyi's estranged cousin, Khin Maung Aye, claimed ownership of the compound nearby Rangoon's Inya lake, which was opposed through an official letter by the lawyers last month.

Khin Maung Aye is a retired army officer, and there was speculation that he would sell the plot of land to government cronies.

"We mentioned [to the authorities] when requesting for the meeting that it was to discuss about the dispute over her house," said lawyer Nyan Win yesterday, adding that Suu Kyi "is in good health".

A National League for Democracy member said yesterday that armed security guards had begun reappearing around Suu Kyi's house, although it is not clear why.

Security had eased around the house following the start of the trial, with Suu Kyi and her two caretakers kept in a special unit inside Insein prison.

However, with the verdict in the trial due on Monday, some are speculating that increased activity around the compound is a sign that Suu Kyi will be brought back to the house, although the court have not yet hinted about the subsequent situation for her.

Nyan Win also praised UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's continued criticism of the trial, and said the UN and international community "are committed to doing what they should. We welcome that."

A press conference today will be held today at Rangoon's Narcotics Musuem, and is expected to discuss the situation surrounding John Yettaw, the US citizen whose swim to Suu Kyi's compound triggered the charges.

Yettaw was hospitalized on Monday following a bout of seizures, and there so far no reports that he has been released.

The incident could further delay the verdict, which had already been postponed once by the courtroom.

It is widely expected that Suu Kyi will be found guilty of the charges, for which she could face a maximum sentence of five years.

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw

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