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Myanmar top court hears latest Suu Kyi appeal

[JURIST] Arguments began Monday before Myanmar's Supreme Court in the latest appeal by Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. Suu Kyi's appeal contests an 18-month extension to her house arrest [JURIST report] that was imposed by a lower court in August. Suu Kyi's lawyer, Nyan Win, has stated that the extension to Suu Kyi's arrest is based on provisions of the now-defunct 1974 constitution. Suu Kyi's detention to her compound in Yangon will prohibit her from competing in this year's elections [BBC report] as a member of her National League for Democracy (NLD) [official website] party. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling in Suu Kyi's case soon.

The timing of Suu Kyi's trial coincides with government action against US citizen Nyi Nyi Aung [Freedom Now profile], who was charged [JURIST report] in early January with forgery and violating Myanmar's foreign currency act. Suu Kyi's hearing date was scheduled the same day Aung was charged. The Myanmar Supreme Court agreed to hear Suu Kyi's case in December after an unsuccessful October appeal [JURIST report] to the Divisional Court in Rangoon. In addition to rejecting the appeal, the lower court ruled that Suu Kyi herself would be barred [JURIST report] from attending the proceedings. Suu Kyi, who has been in prison or under house arrest for 14 of the past 20 years, was found to have violated the military junta's state security laws after John Yettaw [JURIST report], an uninvited American, swam across a lake to her home in May 2009.

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