US man heads home after release from Myanmar jail | world | Hindustan Times
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US man heads home after release from Myanmar jail

world Updated: Aug 19, 2009 12:15 IST

An American man imprisoned in Myanmar for sneaking into the opposition leader's compound but released with the help of a visiting US senator has headed home on a flight after two days of health checks in Thailand.

John Yettaw, 53, of Falcon, Missouri, headed home yesterday after he had been detained in Myanmar for three months after he swam across a lake and made an unauthorised visit to the home of detained democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

He was sentenced last week to seven years in prison, but US Senator Jim Webb met the country's military leaders and won his early release on Sunday. Yettaw, who is in poor health, flew to Thailand later Sunday and spent two days undergoing tests in Bangkok hospitals.

Using a wheelchair and wearing a face mask, Yettaw said "Love you" to journalists before heading onto a flight in Bangkok yesterday morning. He made no other comments.

He was ticketed through to Springfield, Missouri, according to airline officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Myanmar has said that Yettaw was freed on humanitarian grounds because of his health. He reportedly suffers from diabetes, epilepsy and asthma and was hospitalised for a week during his trial after suffering seizures.