Suu Kyi to challenge verdict

YANGON: Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and her US co-defendant are to appeal against their convictions, lawyers said today as the

ruling junta faced a global wave of anger over her extended detention.

US President Barack Obama led worldwide outrage at the military regime’s decision on Tuesday to give Suu Kyi another 18 months of house arrest, a verdict that shuts the Nobel peace laureate out of elections in 2010.

The UN Security Council broke up an emergency meeting with no condemnation of Myanmar and China urged respect for the country’s sovereignty, but Myanmar’s Southeast Asian neighbours issued a rare expression of disappointment.

In Yangon, Suu Kyi’s lawyer Nyan Win said her legal team would appeal because they were “not satisfied” with the judgement, which stemmed from a stunt in which American man John Yettaw swam to her lakeside house in May. A prison court sentenced her to three years of hard labour after finding her guilty of breaching the terms of her incarceration, but junta strongman Than Shwe commuted the punishment to a year and a half under house arrest.

“We assume that the judgement is totally wrong according to the law,” Nyan Win told AFP, adding that he had received approval from Suu Kyi to proceed and could do so today if they received a copy of the judgement.

Lawyers for Yettaw, who was sentenced to seven years of hard labour and imprisonment, would appeal “step by step” to the Myanmar court system and if necessary urge Than Shwe to deport him, lawyer Khin Maung Oo said. He said Yettaw was “calm” and “hopes for the best”.