Top court rejects Suu Kyi freedom bid

YANGON: Myanmar’s Supreme Court today rejected an appeal by Aung San Suu Kyi against her extended house arrest, her lawyer said, keeping her in detention ahead of polls promised by the junta for this year.

The opposition leader, locked up by the regime for most of the past two decades, had her incarceration lengthened by 18 months in August after being convicted over a bizarre incident in which a US man swam to her lakeside home.

Her legal team immediately vowed to lodge a final “special” appeal with Myanmar’s chief justice to win her freedom. Suu Kyi was not at the court in the former capital Yangon to hear today’s verdict.

“The appeal was rejected. They just read out the order which did not include the reason, so we do not know why they rejected it,” said Nyan Win, her lawyer and the spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD).

“Today we will go for a special appeal,” he added.

The next step would be to write to the chief justice and ask for a panel of judges in Yangon to hear the special appeal, he said. If that

failed they could ask for

a similar appeal to be heard in the new capital Naypyidaw.

A lower court threw out an initial appeal in October. A Myanmar official said the court had also rejected appeals by Suu Kyi’s two female live-in assistants against similar periods of detention.

Suu Kyi has been in jail or under house arrest for 14 of the last 20 years since the country’s last elections in 1990, which the NLD won by a landslide. The junta then prevented the party from taking power.