Kyi denies violating house arrest

YANGON: Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi said in court Tuesday she did not violate her house arrest and only gave "temporary shelter" to a US man who swam to her home, media and diplomats present said.

"I didn't," the Nobel Peace Prize winner replied when a judge at the court in Yangon's notorious Insein jail asked her whether she had breached the terms of her restriction order.

Aung San Suu was taking the stand for the first time since Myanmar's military regime charged her after American army veteran John Yettaw swam across a lake to reach her house on May 4 and spent two days there.

"I didn't know about it (Yettaw's visit) immediately. I was informed about it at 5:00 am. My assistant told me that a man had arrived," the 63-year-old told the court.

"I did not inform them," she said when asked by the judge whether she had told Myanmar's military authorities about the American's intrusion into her home.

Aung San Suu Kyi was also asked about claims that she had given Yettaw food and let him stay at the house, replying: "I allowed him to have temporary shelter."

The opposition leader said that Yettaw left at 11:45 pm on May 5, adding: "I only knew that he went to the lakeside. I did not know which way he went because it was dark."

Aung San Suu Kyi faces up to five years in jail if convicted. She has spent 13 of the last 19 years in detention, most of them at her crumbling house on Yangon's Inya Lake.