Kyi's lawyers in new bid

YANGON: Lawyers for Aung San Suu Kyi were to launch a bid in military-ruled Myanmar's top court Wednesday to reinstate two key witnesses in her internationally condemned trial, her party said.

The pro-democracy icon, who turns 64 on Friday, is being held at Yangon's notorious Insein prison on charges of breaching the terms of her house arrest after an American man swam to her lakeside house in May.

The Supreme Court was due to hear arguments from her legal team before deciding whether it will officially allow them to appeal against an earlier ban on the two witnesses, who are both senior members of her party.

"We are hoping the court will allow our revision appeal to be admitted," Nyan Win, one of her lawyers and also the spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD), told AFP.

He did not say when a decision was expected.

The prison court conducting the trial last month barred all but one of her four defence witnesses but a separate court in Yangon earlier this month ruled that Aung San Suu Kyi could call one more person to testify.

The two still-barred witnesses who are the subject of Wednesday's hearing are Win Tin, a journalist and Myanmar's longest-serving political prisoner until his release in September, and detained deputy NLD leader Tin Oo.

Her main trial has been adjourned until June 26. The Nobel Laureate faces up to five years in jail if convicted, as does American John Yettaw, who used a pair of homemade flippers to swim across a lake to her house.

Western diplomats in Yangon have said a string of delayed court dates is a sign that the ruling generals are seeking to stall the proceedings in a bid to fend off vehement worldwide criticism of the trial.

Aung San Suu Kyi has spent 13 of the last 19 years in detention since the junta refused to recognise the NLD's landslide victory in the country's last elections, in 1990.