Myanmar court delays Suu Kyi trial to allow witness testimony

[JURIST] The Myanmar court conducting the trial of pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] has delayed the proceedings for at least two weeks, according to Friday media reports. Suu Kyi's lawyers requested the delay [AP report] to allow defense witness and legal expert Khin Moe Moe to testify and explain why the charges against the Nobel Laureate are politically motivated. The trial is set to resume June 26. The Myanmar Supreme Court accepted an appeal [Reuters report] on Thursday contesting the Yangon District Court decision to reject other defense witnesses [JURIST report], setting the appellate hearing for June 17. Suu Kyi faces charges of violating the terms of her house arrest for allowing an American to stay with her after he swam across a lake to visit. Her arrest was controversial and highly criticized [JURIST report] by the international community.

Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy, has spent 12 of the past 18 years in prison or under house arrest for alleged violations of an anti-subversion law [text, PDF]. News of Suu Kyi's trial has been met with criticism from numerous agencies and governments around the world. Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] has called the charges [HRW report] against Suu Kyi, "trumped up." US President Barack Obama has called for the immediate release [JURIST report] of Suu Kyi.

 

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