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Page last updated at 08:45 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 09:45 UK

Suu Kyi co-accused 'in hospital'

John Yettaw
Like Ms Suu Kyi, Mr Yettaw faces five years in jail over his unsolicited visit

The American man on trial in Burma for making an uninvited visit to detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is said to have been taken to hospital.

John Yettaw - who is thought to suffer from epilepsy - was admitted to the main hospital in Rangoon after having seizures, hospital sources said.

His condition was said to be improving, though he remains in hospital.

Mr Yettaw is on trial with Ms Suu Kyi, who has told the court the case was a test of the country's legal system.

Ms Suu Kyi made the remarks during final court arguments in the closed-door trial on 24 July, but they have only now been released in full by her opposition political party, the National League for Democracy.

She faces five years in jail for violating the terms of her house arrest by allowing Mr Yettaw to stay - on what her supporters and many observers say are trumped-up charges.

'Getting better'

Mr Yettaw was transferred from Insein jail to hospital overnight after having convulsions, an unnamed hospital source told AFP news agency.

"He is getting better now," the hospital worker was quoted as saying.

Mr Yettaw's lawyer, Khin Maung Oo, told the agency he was unaware of the incident but said his client had already been receiving treatment for diabetes, epilepsy and a heart complaint while in prison.

The verdict in the case against Mr Yettaw, Ms Suu Kyi and two women who lived with Ms Suu Kyi will not now be delivered until 11 August.

But, in the transcript of Ms Suu Kyi's closing arguments in court on 24 July, Ms Suu Kyi said the court's decision was already "painfully obvious".

Justice must be done and seen to be done, clearly and unequivocally
Aung San Suu Kyi

"The court will pronounce on the innocence or guilt of a few individuals. The verdict will constitute a judgment on the whole of the legal, justice and constitutional system in our country," she said.

She said that in allowing Mr Yettaw to stay she had acted "without malice, simply... to ensure that no-one concerned should suffer any adverse consequences".

She told the court the charges against her could not be adequately assessed without a simultaneous assessment of the legality of her latest, five-year term of house arrest.

The 64-year-old has spent nearly 14 of the last 20 years in detention, and her lawyers have argued the repeated extensions to her house arrest are illegal.

They also say the law she has been charged under is part of a constitution abolished 25 years ago.

"Throughout, my lawyers have been scrupulous in their efforts to procure due process, which is critical to the rule of law.

"Equally critical is the principle that justice must be done and seen to be done, clearly and unequivocally," Ms Suu Kyi told the court, according to the testimony released by the NLD.



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