Suu Kyi consults lawyers to appeal

YANGON: Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with her legal team at home Wednesday to discuss her appeal against the ruling junta's extension of her house arrest, her lawyer said.

Nyan Win said the three lawyers were allowed a one-hour visit to Suu Kyi's lakeside villa, a day after she returned there following her conviction at the end of a marathon trial which she spent in Yangon's main prison.

Earlier Wednesday, lawyers acting for Suu Kyi and her co-defendant, US national John Yettaw, announced that they would lodge appeals against both convictions.

"We discussed the appeal and we haven't finished our discussion," lawyer Nyan Win, who is also the spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD), told AFP.

He said that they could only submit an appeal once they had obtained a copy of the court's judgement.

Suu Kyi was sentenced to three years hard labour and imprisonment by a court on Tuesday on charges of breaching the terms of her house arrest, following a bizarre episode in May when Yettaw swam to Suu Kyi's compound.

Military ruler Than Shwe -- who heads the so-called State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), the official name for the junta -- then issued a special order commuting the sentence to 18 months.

Yettaw was sentenced to seven years of hard labour and imprisonment.

Nyan Win said Suu Kyi's lawyers would appeal because they were "not satisfied" with the judgement.

"We assume that the judgement is totally wrong according to the law," said Nyan Win.

The NLD also released a statement Wednesday, denouncing the verdict and reiterating its call for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and the more than 2,100 other political prisoners.

"This sentence is not in accordance with the law and it is against human rights so we denounce it," the statement said.

Nyan Win said however that Suu Kyi had "responded positively" to a comment in Than Shwe's order saying that he had reduced the sentence partly because she was the daughter of General Aung San, the country's independence hero.

Aung San was assassinated in 1947.

Yettaw's lawyer Khin Maung Oo said his client would also appeal "step-by-step" to the Myanmar court system. If necessary he said "we will write to the chairman of the SPDC for Mr Yettaw to be deported."

He said Yettaw was "very calm" and "hopes for the best."

US President Barack Obama led a global wave of condemnation over Aung San Suu Kyi's extended detention, which effectively rules her out of Myanmar's elections scheduled for 2010.

The Nobel peace laureate has been confined for nearly 14 the past 20 years, ever since the military regime refused to recognise her National League for Democracy's landslide victory in the last elections held in 1990.