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Aung San Suu Kyi's trial set to end: Lawyers

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is "ready for the worst" as the final arguments are made on Friday in the military junta's latest legal action against her, her lawyers said.

world Updated: Jul 24, 2009 17:48 IST

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is "ready for the worst" as the final arguments are made on Friday in the military junta's latest legal action against her, her lawyers said.

Suu Kyi, who has been confined for 13 of the past 19 years, faces an additional five years for breaching the terms of her house arrest after the May intrusion of US national John William Yettaw, who swam to her lakeside house-cum-prison and stayed there uninvited for two days.

The heads of the missions of Britain, Germany, Italy, France and the US were seen in the early afternoon entering Insein Prison in Yangon, where the trial began May 11.

Suu Kyi's lawyers said earlier in the day that their arguments were strong but that the democracy icon was prepared for an unpleasant verdict, which was expected to be handed down at a later point.

She has been accused of breaking the terms of her detention for allowing Yettaw to enter her compound without informing authorities.

Suu Kyi's legal team, which was permitted to see her Thursday, had argued that Yettaw first tried to contact her in November and the incident was reported by Suu Kyi to the authorities, who, however, ignored her complaints.

Critics of the regime consider Yettaw's intrusions as a gift to the junta, giving it an excuse to detain Suu Kyi after her previous six-year detention expired May 27.

The ruling military government is believed to want her to remain confined until at least after elections planned for 2010.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won the 1990 general election by a landslide but has been blocked from power by Myanmar's junta for the past 19 years.

The new trial of Suu Kyi has sparked a chorus of protests from world leaders and even statements of concern from Myanmar's regional allies in the Association of South-East Asian Nations.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton this week offered Myanmar improved relations if it released Suu Kyi, but there was no indication its junta would accede.

The New Light of Myanmar, a state-run newspaper, said Friday in an editorial that "demanding the release of Suu Kyi means showing reckless disregard for the law".