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Page last updated at 05:25 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 06:25 UK

Verdict expected in Suu Kyi trial

Protest in Seoul, South Korea, calling for Aung San Suu Kyi's release - 8 August 2009
There have been international calls for Ms Suu Kyi's release

A verdict is due to be delivered shortly in the trial of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

She is accused of breaking the terms of her house arrest by allowing a US man, John Yettaw, into her lakeside home after he swam there uninvited in May.

Ms Suu Kyi denies the charge but says she expects to be found guilty.

Reports say her American co-defendant was discharged from hospital on Monday night after a week of treatment for epileptic seizures.

Journalists have unexpectedly been allowed to enter the courtroom in Rangoon's Insein prison ahead of the scheduled verdict, AP news agency reported.

Reporters have been allowed to cover proceedings on only two previous occasions.

Condition improved

Staff at the Rangoon hospital where Mr Yettaw was treated said his condition had improved and he was eating after having fasted for weeks.

Mr Yettaw is believed to have epilepsy, diabetes and post-traumatic stress disorder.

If convicted, Ms Suu Kyi could face a five-year prison sentence.

Her supporters accuse the Burmese military government of wanting to keep her out of the way for next year's elections.

A verdict in her trial had been expected at the end of July, but was postponed due to Mr Yettaw's ill-health.

Prosecutors argue that Ms Suu Kyi must be held responsible for his uninvited swim to her home in early May.

Aung San Suu Kyi meets Thai, Singapore and Russian diplomats, 20 May

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

In any case, they say, she cannot be held responsible for the incident as she was living under tightly-guarded house arrest at the time.

They also say the charges against her cannot be adequately assessed without a simultaneous review of the legality of her latest five-year term of house arrest.

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

Many analysts expect a guilty verdict, accusing Burma's military rulers of using the incident to make sure the popular pro-democracy leader is still in detention during elections planned for early next year.

Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won the last elections in 1990 but was never allowed to take power.



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