Myanmar's court to review Suu Kyi house arrest

AP News
Posted: Dec 21, 2009 5:11 AM

Myanmar's highest court agreed Monday to review the most recent extension of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest.

Suu Kyi's lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court last month after a lower court upheld a decision to sentence her to 18 more months of house arrest. She had been convicted for violating her previous term by briefly sheltering an American intruder who swam uninvited to her lakeside home.

The legal team argued that her house arrest extension was unlawful as it was based on provisions from the 1974 Constitution that was no longer in existence, Suu Kyi's chief lawyer Kyi Win told reporters after emerging from the court Monday.

The court posted an announcement on its notice board that it had agreed to hear the appeal. Final arguments are to take place at a later date.

The court also agreed to review the house arrest of Suu Kyi's two female companions, who are also ordered confined for 18 months at her compound in Yangon.

The 64-year-old Nobel Peace Laureate was initially sentenced to three years in prison with hard labor, but that sentence was commuted by junta chief Senior Gen. Than Shwe.

Suu Kyi has been detained for 14 of the past 20 years.

Suu Kyi's sentence ensures she cannot participate in Myanmar's first elections in two decades that are scheduled for next year. Her party swept the last elections in 1990, but the results were never honored by the military, which has ruled the country since 1962.