07/27/2009, 00.00
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Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial entering final phase

Pro-democracy leader should be convicted and get three to five years in prison. Singapore joints list of nations calling on military junta not to use the trial to exclude Ms Suu Kyi from next year’s elections.

Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial began its final hearing and most observers expect the pro-democracy to be convicted. Joining protests by Western nations, which have proven useless so far, Singapore authorities have unexpectedly appealed to Myanmar’s military junta on behalf of the imprisoned opposition leader. Hitherto the city state had tended to be amenable to the military regime’s point of view. 

Former Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong has urged Myanmar leaders not to use the trial to exclude the National League for Democracy (NLD) leader from next year’s elections.

“If she is not campaigning for the party and whoever wins, well, one could argue that it's not quite legitimate because the main opposition party was not campaigning with its leader,” he said.

In the Insein Maximum Security Prison, lawyers for Ms Suu Kyi’s co-defendants, two of the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s employees and US Citizen John Yettaw, will deliver their closing arguments.

Back in May Mr Yettaw had trespassed into Ms Suu Kyi’s compound and was briefly harboured, a situation which led to her trial for violating the conditions of her house arrest which began 2003.

Suu Kyi's lawyer Nyan Win said he expected the verdict to be delivered in two to three weeks. But some court officials said the trail might be over as early as today.

Aung San Suu Kyi could get three to five years in prison, extending her stay in detention, which began more than 20 years ago.

She would also be excluded from next year’s elections, the first since her party won the elections in 1990, which the ruling generals snatched away and which led to Ms Suu Kyi’s incarceration.

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See also
Military junta lifts Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest order but keeps her in prison
Ban Ki-moon in Myanmar to seek Aung San Suu Kyi’s release
Aung San Suu Kyi fights back, blaming breach of security on police
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