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Suu Kyi's appeal result in October

world Updated: Sep 20, 2009 01:02 IST
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A court in junta-run Myanmar will rule next month on opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's appeal against her extended house arrest, an official said Friday, after lawyers gave their final arguments.

The judges will give their decision on October 2 on whether to uphold the Nobel Peace laureate's conviction for breaching security laws following an incident in May in which an American man swam uninvited to her house.

The 64-year-old pro-democracy icon was found guilty of violating the terms of her detention on August 11 and sentenced to three years' hard labour, but junta chief Than Shwe cut the term to 18 months' house arrest.

Government and defence lawyers made their closing submissions to the Yangon divisional court on Friday after her legal team filed an appeal earlier this month.

Suu Kyi was denied permission to attend the hearing.

"The final arguments have finished. The court set a date on October 2 at 10 am (0430 GMT) for the judgment," a Myanmar official said on condition of anonymity.

Suu Kyi's lawyers were not immediately available for comment after the hearing.

But Nyan Win, who is one of her main lawyers and also the spokesman for Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, told AFP before Friday's court session that they were "confident" they would win.

The guilty verdict against Suu Kyi sparked international outrage and the imposition of further sanctions against Myanmar's powerful generals, who have already kept her locked up for 14 of the past 20 years.

Her extended house arrest keeps her off the scene for elections promised by the regime some time in 2010, adding to widespread criticism that the polls are a sham designed to legitimise the junta's grip on power.

John Yettaw, the eccentric American who swam to her house using homemade flippers and stayed there for two days, stood trial at the same time and was ordered to serve seven years' hard labour.

But the regime freed him last month on humanitarian grounds after a visit by US Senator Jim Webb.