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Asia-pacific

Suu Kyi to appeal 18-month sentence, lawyer says

Video by Luke SHRAGO

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-13

Burma's pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will appeal the ruling junta's decision to convict her for breaking the terms of her house arrest. US national John Yettaw, who swam to her house, will also lodge an appeal.

AFP - Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and US national John Yettaw will both lodge appeals against the ruling junta's decision to convict them, their lawyers said Wednesday.
  
Suu Kyi's house arrest was prolonged for another 18 months on Tuesday, sparking international outrage, while her co-defendant Yettaw was sentenced to seven years of hard labour and imprisonment.
  
Suu Kyi's lawyer Nyan Win said her legal team would appeal because they were "not satisfied" with the judgement, which stemmed from an incident in which Yettaw swam uninvited to Suu Kyi's lakeside home in May.
  

"We assume that the judgement is totally wrong according to the law," said Nyan Win, adding that he had received approval from Suu Kyi to go ahead with the appeal.
  
He said they could begin the process Wednesday if they received a copy of the judgement.
  
Judges originally sentenced Suu Kyi to three years of hard labour and imprisonment, but Than Shwe, head of Myanmar's military regime, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), signed a special order commuting the sentence.
  
He ordered her to serve out 18 months under house arrest.
  
Yettaw's lawyer Khin Maung Oo they would also appeal "step-by-step" to the Myanmar court system. If necessary he said "we will write to the chairman of the SPDC for Mr Yettaw to be deported."
  
He said Yettaw was "very calm" and "hopes for the best."
  
US President Barack Obama led a global wave of condemnation over Aung San Suu Kyi's extended detention, which effectively rules her out of Myanmar's  elections scheduled for 2010.
  
The Nobel peace laureate has been confined for nearly 14 the past 20 years, ever since the military regime refused to recognise her National League for Democracy's landslide victory in the last elections held in 1990.

Date created : 2009-08-12

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