Burma closes Nobel laureate's trial again
RANGOON, Burma - Burma's military junta closed the trial of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to reporters and diplomats again yesterday, sparking complaints that the regime was trying to hide the widely criticized proceedings.
It was unclear whether the junta would again reopen the hearings as it did Wednesday, when diplomats said the Nobel peace laureate appeared spirited and healthy.
Suu Kyi, who has been in detention without trial for more than 13 of the past 19 years, is accused of violating her house arrest after an American man swam to her lakeside home this month and stayed without official permission. The offense is punishable by up to five years' imprisonment.
Suu Kyi is standing trial with two female members of her party - her sole companions under house arrest - and the man, John W. Yettaw.
Yettaw on Wednesday offered the first clue to his motive for his visit to Suu Kyi, suggesting in a courtroom exchange with his lawyer that he had a premonition the pro-democracy leader was at risk of being killed, according to Nyan Win, Suu Kyi's lawyer and a spokesman for her National League for Democracy party.
Suu Kyi's lawyers have said that she told the uninvited guest to leave, but that she allowed him to stay for two days after he pleaded that he was too ill and tired to return across the lake.
The family of 53-year-old Yettaw, of Falcon, Mo., describes him as a well-intentioned admirer of Suu Kyi who wanted to interview her, unaware of the possible consequences. But Suu Kyi's supporters have expressed anger at him.