Suu Kyi's trial resumes: lawyer

YANGON: Myanmar on Friday resumed its trial of Aung San Suu Kyi after a six-week adjournment and a week after a failed bid by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to see the Nobel peace laureate, officials said.

The court at the notorious Insein prison in Yangon heard from legal expert Khin Moe Moe, a rare witness for the defence, after a ban on her testimony was overturned last month, one of Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyers, Nyan Win, said.

"Today the only witness was Khin Moe Moe who testified in the morning and afternoon session. She argued with the prosecution lawyer about the 1974 constitution," Nyan Win said.

The defence argued that Aung San Suu Kyi is being prosecuted under invalid laws as they say the 1974 constitution was usurped by the military coup that took place in 1988.

Friday's prison court hearings wrapped up at 5pm (1030 GMT) with the next session scheduled for two weeks' time.

"The next trial date will be July 24th," a Myanmar official confirmed.

Aung San Suu Kyi faces up to five years in jail on charges of breaching the conditions of her house arrest after a bizarre incident in which US national John Yettaw swam to her lakeside home in May.

Ban met Senior General Than Shwe in Myanmar a week ago to press the head of the ruling junta to free political prisoners, including the 64-year-old opposition leader.

But the UN chief failed to secure any concessions from the government and was not allowed to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi, leading human rights groups to describe the trip as a failure.

The court initially banned three of four witnesses called to testify for the defence, later overturning the ban on Khin Moe Moe.

The prosecution has so far called 14 witnesses, fuelling opposition and international claims that the hearings are a show trial designed to keep Aung San Suu Kyi locked up ahead of elections scheduled for 2010.

Before Friday, the court had not heard from any witnesses since late May while Yangon's higher courts heard appeals from Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyers to overturn bans on its witnesses.

The two witnesses barred from appearing are Win Tin, a dissident journalist who was Myanmar's longest serving prisoner until his release in September, and Tin Oo, the detained deputy leader of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD).

Another legal expert has already testified on behalf of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Nobel laureate has spent 13 of the past 19 years in detention since the regime refused to recognise the NLD's landslide victory in the country's last democratic polls in 1990.