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Suu Kyi trial resumes with new witness testimony

[JURIST] The trial of Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] resumed Friday with the testimony of Khin Moe Moe, a member of Suu Kyi's National League of Democracy (NLD) [party website] party. Suu Kyi is charged with violating the terms of her house arrest by allowing an American to stay at her home, but Khin Moe Moe argued that she is being tried under a version of the country's constitution that is no longer valid [AP report]. Suu Kyi has also argued that the government guards at her house should have turned the man away. Khin Moe Moe was originally banned from testifying, but is now one of two witnesses who were allowed [JURIST reports] to testify in her defense. The hearing was conducted in the prison in which Suu Kyi is being held under tight security, and will resume on July 24. She faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

In June, a Myanmar court sentenced [JURIST report] two members of the NLD to 18 months in prison after leading prayers for Suu Kyi's release. Her arrest was controversial and highly criticized [JURIST report] by the international community. She 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 said the charges [HRW report] against Suu Kyi are "trumped up."

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