05/26/2009, 00.00
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Military junta lifts Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest order but keeps her in prison

Myanmar’s opposition leader remains in prison despite the lifting of her house arrest because she is on trial. Today she was allowed to speak to the judges, told them she is innocent. For the second time journalists and diplomats are allowed to be present during the trail.
Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Myanmar authorities lifted the house arrest order on opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, but she remains in detention whilst her trial for violating the terms of her house arrest is still underway.

Today she spoke before the court for the first time at the start of the trail. When a judge asked her if she had violated the terms of her house arrest, she said: “I didn’t.”

Tomorrow her current house arrest was supposed to expire after six years but the military junta decided to anticipate lifting the order a day before schedule.

I don't know whether to be happy or sorry” about this decision, said Nyan Win, one of Aung San Suu Kyi’s attorneys

The leader of the National league for Democracy has spent 13 of the past 19 years under house arrest.

At present she is in prison and is likely to be found guilty despite pressure from the international community against Myanmar’s military dictatorship.

This morning Aung San Suu Kyi was finally able to address the judges. Foreign journalists and diplomats were also allowed to attend her trial.

When asked whether she broke the law she said: “I didn’t.”

All she did was to extend John Yettaw, the American intruder, hospitality on humanitarian ground after he pleaded with her.

She explained that she did not know whether he had deliberately left some materials at her home. She said she thought he had left the house on 5 May, between 11:45 p.m. and mid-night (local time) before he was arrested in the waters of Lake Inya.

Aung San Suu Kyi said she did not see the guards that normally patrol the compound where she lives, on University Road, in Yangon, either on the day when the American arrived or the day he left

She also said she did not know whether he took any pictures of her house or not.

If she is found guilty, Suu Kyi could get five years in prison, effectively barring her from taking part in the 2010 elections the junta said it would organise.

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