Suu Kyi to launch final appeal bid

Jan 13, 2010 (DVB), Detained Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday met with her lawyers to confirm a final statement on the appeal against her house arrest.

The two lawyers, Nyan Win and Kyi Win, are due to appear in court on 18 January to present the statement, in which they will argue that her conviction under provisions contained in the disbanded 1974 constitution is unlawful.

"We made necessary adjustments to [the appeal] and had approval from Daw Suu yesterday," said Nyan Win, adding that he unable to disclose the contents of the discussion prior to the court appearance.

He said however that they also broached the topic of renovations to Suu Kyi's home-cum-prison, which was initially given the go-ahead by Rangoon authorities but has since been halted, following a complaint lodged by Suu Kyi's estranged brother, Aung San Oo, who claims part-ownership.

Although renovations were aimed at bolstering security, Nyan Win said that the house was now less secure with the renovations only half complete.

"Recently all the iron bars on the upstairs were removed and sent to a workshop for repairing. Now there are only planks of wood to cover up the holes."

He said the lawyers had last week requested a copy of Aung San Oo's complaint "so that we could learn his motives" but were yet to receive it.

The decision to renovate the house came about after US citizen John Yettaw in May last year was deemed to have been "sheltered" by Suu Kyi after he entered the house compound.

It was this visit that paved the way for Suu Kyi's extended house arrest, which is likely to see her remain in detention until next year.

Meanwhile, the aunt of the detained Burmese-born US citizen, Nyi Nyi Aung, appeared in court yesterday to testify as a defence witness.

She told DVB that she was probed over allegations that Nyi Nyi Aung (also known as Kyaw Zaw Lwin),a former Burmese activist who fled to the US, had used fraudulent identification, one of the main charges leveled against him. She also said she was allowed to meet with him.

"I'm very happy that I got to see him; he is in good health," she said. "He apologised to me for putting us in a difficult situation. I told him not to say that and that we will do what we have to for him."

He is also being represented by Nyan Win and Kyi Win, who will deliver their final statements to the court on 22 January.

Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet

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