Defense witness: the law used to charge Aung San Suu Kyi has been repealed
The next hearing is scheduled for 24 July. About a hundred of Suu Kyi’s supporters gather in front of the prison where she is being held, closely watched by agents in riot gear. The trial was delayed several times in the past few weeks, especially when the United Nations’ Ban Ki-moon and Ibrahim Gambari travelled to the country on diplomatic missions.

Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) – In his testimony before the special court trying Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon Daw Khin Moe Moe, in his capacity of witness and defence lawyer, said that the pro-democracy leader did not break any law because the charges laid against her are based on a constitution that the ruling military junta abolished 21 years ago.

Today’s session in the trial of National League for Democracy leader ended at 5 pm (local time). In the morning Myanmar papers had reported that the trial had been postponed again till 17 July. But in fact the trial went ahead as scheduled in the presence of the defendant, lasting for several hours. Ms Suu Kyi appeared in good conditions.

Her defence attorney, Nyan Win, said that during the proceeding the prosecutor and the defence raised questions about the section under which the Nobel Peace Prize laureate was arrested, section 22 on State Security, enacted under the 1974 constitution, which was abolished by the current regime after a coup in September 1988.

Nyan Win said that trial was adjourned to 24 July for the final deliberations. But few observers expect a final ruling on that date.

In the meantime about a hundred of Suu Kyi’s supporters gathered outside Insein Prison, closely watched by soldiers and police in riot gear, to express their solidarity to their leader who has been in prison since 14 May for allegedly violating the terms of her house arrest.

She is accused of giving shelter to a US citizen, who broke into her residence with the likely complicity of guards charged with securing the premises.

The trial itself has been delayed several times: on 26 June because of a visit by the UN Special Envoy for Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari; last 3 July as a result of the visit by UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon. Neither UN official was authorised to see the jailed opposition leader.

Through her lawyer Ms Suu Kyi said she would not comment diplomatic efforts on her behalf.

However, other opposition leaders said that UN actions have proved a total failure.

Among ordinary people in Myanmar frustration and sadness are also growing.

The first delay in the trial came on 12 June when the judges decided they needed time to examine a motion by the defence to have additional witnesses appear before the court. So far the court has accepted two witnesses for the defence against 23 for the prosecution.

If Ms Aung San Suu Kyi is found guilty she could get five years in prison or under house arrest, on top of the 14 years (out of 20) she has already spent under house arrest.

What appears clear is that Myanmar’s military junta (in power since 1962) wants her out of the way so that she cannot participate in next year’s elections.