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Lawyers submit Suu Kyi appeal

Sept 3, 2009 (DVB), Lawyers for Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi have lodged an appeal against her sentencing and will appear in court tomorrow morning.

The appeal comes three weeks after Suu Kyi, head of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party, was sentenced to 18 months under house arrest for allegedly sheltering US citizen John Yettaw at her Rangoon compound.

"We submitted an appeal at the Rangoon divisional court 1:30pm this afternoon. We were given a court appointment tomorrow at 10am to present a statement," said lawyer Nyan Win.

"The appeal calls on the lower [district] court to acquit Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of the guilty verdict, which is not right under terms of the law."

Suu Kyi has complained that the conditions of her current house arrest are stricter than before, with access to her family doctor barred in place of a government doctor.

The European Union Political and Security Committee met in Brussels yesterday and discussed the appeal and Suu Kyi's sentencing.

Swedish ambassador Olof Skoog expressed "great concern" on the behalf of the EU about the sentencing.

"We must have a clear view about the measures that EU would want to take targeting the Burmese regime if the verdict is a negative one," he said in a statement released yesterday by the EU.

Suu Kyi had initially been given three years with hard labour, but in what appeared to be a staged interjection by a senior government official, the sentence was commuted.

Yettaw, whose visit to Suu Kyi's compound in May sparked the trial, was given seven years with hard labour, but was released following a visit to Burma by US senator Jim Webb.

The trial was widely seen as a ploy to keep Suu Kyi in detention beyond the 2010 elections, scheduled for March next year.

Reporting by Aye Nai


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