YANGON, Myanmar - The sole witness allowed for pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi insisted yesterday that she had broken no law, as a Myanmar court heard final testimony before closing arguments in a trial that could send her to prison for five years.
Kyi Win, a legal expert and a member of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party, argued there was no legal basis to the charge that the Nobel laureate had violated the terms of her house arrest when an uninvited American swam secretly to her home.
Suu Kyi's defense team has acknowledged that John W. Yettaw, 53, swam to and sneaked into her lakeside home, where he stayed for two days. But the lawyers insist it was the duty of government guards outside her closely guarded house to prevent any intruders.
Her lawyers also strongly contest the case against Suu Kyi because the police who charged her cited sections of the country's 1974 constitution, which was annulled when the military took power in 1988. The country adopted a new charter last year.
A police officer testified last week that the 1974 constitution did not allow her the rights of contacting or talking to anyone or giving permission to anyone to stay at her house.
The court at Yangon's Insein Prison rejected three other defense witnesses for Suu Kyi on Wednesday. It approved 23 prosecution witnesses, and 14 testified.
The court is to recess today and hear closing arguments from both sides Monday, Kyi Win said.
Her defense team planned to submit a letter today seeking permission for a private meeting with their clients tomorrow. Yettaw and two female party members who live with Suu Kyi face the same charge as Suu Kyi and have also pleaded not guilty.
Outside the courtroom yesterday, Kyi Win told reporters that prosecutors had not seemed happy about Yettaw's testimony. Yettaw, of Falcon, Mo., told the court Wednesday he had been sent by God to warn Suu Kyi of his premonition that she would be assassinated by terrorists. Suu Kyi allowed him to stay for two days earlier this month because he said he was too tired and ill to leave immediately.
Accounts of testimony have generally come only from the state press and defense lawyer Nyan Win because reporters have been barred from all but two of the sessions.
The trial has drawn outrage from the international community and Suu Kyi's local supporters, who worry that the military junta has found an excuse to keep her detained through next year's elections. Her party won the last elections in 1990, but the military did not allow it to take power. She has been under detention without trial for 13 years.