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Myanmar's Suu Kyi blames junta security lapse: Statement

Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi blamed security failures by the ruling junta for an incident in which a US man swam to her house, according to a statement submitted at her trial.

world Updated: May 27, 2009 16:42 IST

Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi blamed security failures by the ruling junta for an incident in which a US man swam to her house, according to a statement submitted at her trial.

The Nobel laureate said in the statement released by her party on Wednesday that she could not be held responsible for the break-in by American John Yettaw and was innocent of charges of violating her house arrest.

She added that she did not immediately report the incident to the military regime to avoid causing "harm" to Yettaw or members of the security forces.

"The basic reason for this case is a security failure or security breakdown. No action was taken regarding security but it was me who was charged," said the statement, which her lawyers submitted on Tuesday.

It has a much fuller account than she gave in her brief answers to questions from judges when she took the stand for the first time at Yangon's Insein Prison on Tuesday and denied any wrongdoing.

Her statement said she had informed officials after Yettaw swam to her house for the first time in November 2008, but that they took no action and did not warn her to report any subsequent intrusions.

Yettaw visited her residence again on May 4, 2009, she said.

"I asked him to go back, he said he might be arrested as it was morning already and said he would go back at night. But at night he asked to stay because of his health situation," she said.

"Because of my political beliefs I do not want anyone to be under arrest, that's why I allowed him temporary shelter," she said.

The 63-year-old said that after the American left she intended to tell her doctor when he visited on May 7 so that he could inform authorities, but the doctor was prevented from entering.
Whened by the junta, she added.

Aung San Suu Kyi faces up to five years in jail if convicted.