Suu Kyi to make final court appearance

July 24, 2009 (DVB), Lawyers of Aung San Suu Kyi were yesterday granted permission to meet with her and discuss their statement prior to today's final appearance in court.

A request to see Suu Kyi on Wednesday had been denied by the courtroom, and yesterday's meeting only came about following an appeal letter sent by her lawyers to the judges.

Permission was granted at late notice and only three of the four lawyers managed to visit their client inside her prison unit yesterday, said lawyer Nyan Win.

"We mainly discussed the case, more than 20 pages long in all," he said. "We went through it from the beginning to the end, amending it as necessary."

Suu Kyi is being charged for breaching conditions of her house arrest following the intrusion into her compound in May of US citizen John Yettaw.

The courtroom claims that she sheltered Yettaw for two days after he swam across Rangoon's Inya lake to her home, which would violate restrictions placed on her.

Burma's opposition leader is also being tried alongside her two caretakers, Khin Win and Win Ma Ma, and Yettaw, who is being tried on immigration charges.

Nyan Win said that the charges are not legally valid. Critics of the trial, which is being held in a courtroom inside Insein prison, have said that is it a pretext to keep her in detention beyond the 2010 elections.

One of charges she faces is that she broke a law refraining her from correspondence via letter.

"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has had correspondence with no one," said Nyan Win. "Mr Yettaw brought with him a letter from his young daughter [and] in this letter there is no political talk."

He said that the law only accounts for correspondence leaving the country, and not coming from the outside in, adding that the lawyers will be arguing this "by using the Burmese dictionary".

The trial of Suu Kyi has brought international condemnation, and was the focus of a trip to Burma earlier this month by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is currently in Thailand to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional forum, said yesterday that the US may engage with and invest in Burma if Suu Kyi is released.

Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet

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