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Suu Kyi being tried in prison

world Updated: May 18, 2009 23:39 IST

Myanmar opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi went on trial amid tight security at a notorious prison on Monday, facing another five years in detention on charges of harbouring a US man who swam to her home.

Dozens of supporters of the ailing Nobel Peace Prize laureate gathered near Insein prison for the hearing, as riot police set up barbed wire barricades and blocked all roads to the compound near Yangon, witnesses said.

Myanmar's junta has ignored a storm of international protest to push ahead with charges that the 63-year-old violated the terms of her house arrest, under which she could also be barred from standing in elections due next year.

Security forces barred the ambassadors of Britain, France, Germany and Italy from the jail as they attempted to gain entry to the trial, a western diplomat said.

Her lawyer said that she would protest her innocence. “Suu Kyi has studied the section of the law under which she was charged and says that she didn't commit any crime," said lawyer Kyi Win.