Suu Kyi to plead innocent in court

YANGON: Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will protest her innocence when she goes on trial starting Monday, her party said as the ruling military junta freed her personal doctor from detention.

The 63-year-old met her lawyer on Saturday at the notorious prison where she has been held since last week on charges of violating house arrest by sheltering an American man who swam across a lake to her residence.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner faces up to five years in jail if convicted on the charges,

which would keep her behind bars during controversial elections planned by Myanmar’s generals for next year.

A spokesman for her National League for Democracy party said she had discussed

the case when lawyer Kyi Win visited Insein prison near Yangon.

The behind-closed-doors trial is expec-ted to take place inside the jail.

“They discussed the charges and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said she didn’t commit any crimes and she is ready to talk about it in court,” the spokesman, Nyan Win, told AFP today.

Daw is a term of respect in the Burmese language.

“She asked him to tell friends and colleagues that she is in good health,” he said.

Aung Thein, another lawyer who applied to represent her at the trial, said on Saturday that he had been barred by the authorities a day earlier.

Myanmar has faced global pressure to free Aung San Suu Kyi and drop the charges, which were filed less than two weeks before the latest period of her detention was due to expire.

She has spent 13 of the last 19 years in jail or under house arrest.

However the regime on Saturday released her doctor, Tin Myo Win, nearly two weeks after he was held while trying to get access to her following the incident with US national John Yettaw.