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Page last updated at 14:36 GMT, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 15:36 UK

Suu Kyi's witnesses 'rejected'

People Demand Release of Aung San Suu Kyi in Japan on 25 May
Ms Suu Kyi's trial has drawn international condemnation

Lawyers for the detained Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi say judges have rejected their request to call four defence witnesses.

They say only one defence witness is being allowed in her trial on charges of breaking house arrest regulations.

This, they say, means a verdict could be reached as soon as Thursday.

Ms Suu Kyi has spent the past six years under house arrest. She was put on trial after an American man swam to her home across a lake earlier this month.

The BBC's Jonathan Head, reporting from neighbouring Thailand, says there has been little pretence at fairness by the Burmese authorities during the eight-day trial.

Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyers have been barred from discussions with their client and she was given no time to prepare her testimony.

Charges 'spurious'

Now three of the four witnesses summoned by the defence have been rejected by the judges and the prosecution has been allowed to call 14.

This, says our correspondent, lends support to US President Barack Obama's description of the process as a show trial on spurious charges.

With only one defence witness now allowed to take the stand, our correspondent says, the government should be able to wrap up the case within one or two days and deliver the expected guilty verdict.

Yettaw said he came here because God asked him to.
Nyan Win, NLD spokesman

At Wednesday's closed hearing at Rangoon's Insein prison, the man at the centre of the case, John Yettaw, 53, said he had swum to Ms Suu Kyi's home to warn her that her life was in danger.

Nyan Win, a spokesman for Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, who is also on her legal team and was in court, told AFP: "Yettaw said he came here because God asked him to. He said the reason he came was in his vision he saw that Aung San Suu Kyi was assassinated by terrorists. Because of his vision, he came here to warn Aung San Suu Kyi and also the government."

In a written statement to the court on Tuesday, Ms Suu Kyi blamed Mr Yettaw's visit on a breach of security and said charging her showed the one-sidedness of the prosecution.

The trial has been widely condemned abroad as a ploy to keep her in detention until after the 2010 elections.

Faces up to five years

Ms Suu Kyi is the head of the NLD, which disputes the legitimacy of the polls and the conditions in which the military junta want to hold them.

Ms Suu Kyi, 63, had been due for release on Wednesday after her latest six-year detention, but was re-arrested this month after Mr Yettaw's visit.

She says she was not immediately aware of the late-night visit, but had been informed later by her assistant.

Ms Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate, faces up to five years in jail if convicted.

President Obama called on Tuesday for her "immediate and unconditional" release.



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