Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi suffered her latest courtroom loss on Thursday but supporters and close aides remained optimistic that she will soon be granted freedom from house arrest.
The 65-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner is due to complete her sentence on Saturday. The ruling junta has not confirmed that she will be set free but government officials have quietly said they are making "necessary security preparations" for this weekend.
The youngest of Suu Kyi's two sons, Kim Aris, also was granted a Myanmar visa earlier this week in an indication that he will be allowed to see his mother for the first time in 10 years. Aris lives in Britain and has repeatedly been denied visas for years. Suu Kyi has been detained for 15 of the past 21 years but was never convicted of any crime until August 2009. She was sentenced to 18 months of additional house arrest for violating an earlier period of house arrest by briefly sheltering an uninvited American who swam to her home.
Suu Kyi had already lost two previous appeals against the conviction and had filed a final appeal to the Special Appellate Bench in the remote capital of Naypyitaw.
The court posted its decision Thursday on a public notice board, saying only that the appeal was turned down and giving no explanation, lawyer Nyan Win said.
"The court rejected our appeal and upholds the previous court decisions," he told The Associated Press. "This decision is absolutely wrong and shows the state of justice system in the country," Nyan Win said.