Burmese junta bars lawyer from defending Suu Kyi

May 17th, 2009 - 12:13 pm ICT by ANI  

London, May 17 (ANI): The Burmese junta has revoked the license of a prominent activist lawyer in order to bar him from defending opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as international pressure intensifies on the military regime to drop new charges against the Nobel Peace laureate.

Aung Thein said the order revoking his licence was issued on Friday, a day after a prison court charged Suu Kyi with breaking the conditions of her nearly six-year house arrest, due to expire on 27 May.

“I went to Insein Prison to be one of the five defence lawyers for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and they issued the order the next day,” The Scotsman quoted Aung Thein, as saying.

Critics of the regime have denounced the trial of Suu Kyi and two female companions, due to start tomorrow, on charges stemming from the visit of an American intruder who was arrested after he claimed to have spent two days at her lakeside home in Yangon.

Suu Kyi, 63, faces up to five years in jail if convicted. Her lawyers insist she is innocent and did not invite John Yettaw, who according to state media, swam to her tightly guarded lakeside home using homemade flippers.

Yettaw’s motives remained unclear, but he has been charged with various offences, including encouraging others to break the law and “illegal swimming”.

Aung Thein, 62, was jailed for four months last year for contempt of court while defending political activists.

The military, which has ruled Burma since 1962, has so far ignored the international outcry over its latest crackdown on Suu Kyi, who has spent more than 13 of the past 19 years in some form of detention. (ANI)

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