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Doctor of Myanmar's Suu Kyi questioned by police

Myanmar authorities took into custody the doctor of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi for questioning after an American man allegedly sneaked into her closely guarded home earlier this week, according her political party Saturday.

world Updated: May 09, 2009 11:48 IST

Myanmar authorities took into custody the doctor of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi for questioning after an American man allegedly sneaked into her closely guarded home earlier this week, according her political party Saturday.

The detention adds more mystery to the alleged May 3 visit by the man who was arrested Wednesday after swimming across a lake to her home and staying there from Sunday night to Tuesday night, according state-run press.

Suu Kyi, who has spent more than 13 of the last 19 years, including the past six under house arrest, is allowed virtually no visitors aside from her doctor.

National League for Democracy spokesman Nyan Win said the Nobel-laureate's physician arrived at her house for her routine monthly checkup Thursday but was barred from entering after police tightened security.

"Authorities have taken doctor Tin Myo Win from his home since Thursday evening and have not returned since. We don't know where he was kept or why he was questioned," Nyan Win said. Tin Myo Win's assistant doctor was allowed to visit her Friday to treat her for dehydration, said Nyan Win, adding that the opposition leader was also suffering from low blood pressure.

Thursday's press account of the lakeside intrusion said an American named "John Willian Yeattaw" confessed that he swam 1 miles (2 kilometers) across Inya Lake to Suu Kyi's compound and "secretly entered the house." The news reports say he acknowledged staying there before being arrested Wednesday morning. It was unclear whether Suu Kyi had any contact with the intruder. Nyan Win said he had no information about the visitor, but said it was worrisome how easily the man accessed the tightly guarded home. "We are very much concerned of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's security. What happened shows a security lapse," Nyan Win said. There are no other known cases of anyone sneaking into her home. News reports say the man was arrested with a large empty water bottle, which may have been used as a flotation device, a US passport, a black backpack, a flashlight, a pair of pliers, a camera, two $100 bills and $87 worth of local currency at free market exchange rate, said the newspaper report.

"Further investigation is being made to find out his motive for secretly entering the area that is out of bounds on security grounds," the newspaper report said.

Other details about the incident are elusive, and even his reported name appears to be misspelled. The US Embassy, which said the man's name is John William Yettaw, said Friday that the military-ruled government has ignored repeated requests for access to the arrested man.

Suu Kyi's home is tightly guarded by police checkpoints and barbed-wire barricades outside her home. On infrequent occasions she is allowed to leave under tight guard to meet with fellow party leaders and visiting U.N. representatives.

She has been held without trial for leading an internationally hailed movement for democracy in Myanmar, which has been ruled by the military with an iron fist since 1962.

Her party won Myanmar's last elections in 1990, but the result was not recognized by the military junta.

Earlier this week, the junta rejected an appeal to free Suu Kyi, whose most recent period of detention is due to expire May 27, Nyan Win said.