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Burmese Court Approves 2nd Witness to Testify for Aung San Suu Kyi

A Burmese appeals court has agreed to let a second witness testify on behalf of jailed pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Tuesday's decision reinstating lawyer Khin Moe Moe as a witness overturned an earlier ruling by a lower court banning all but one defense witness. But the ruling upheld a ban on two other defense witnesses.

One of her defense lawyers, Nyan Win, says they will appeal to the country's high court to allow Win Tin and Tin Oo to testify at the opposition leader's closed-door trial inside Rangoon's notorious Insein prison.

Nyan Win said the court did not give any reason for barring the two defense witnesses, both of whom are senior members of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy. Tin Oo is currently under house arrest.

The defense lawyer said no new date has been set for the Nobel Peace laureate's trial to resume. But he said a final verdict will probably take at least two more weeks.

Aung San Suu Kyi's legal team appealed the earlier decision, after the court allowed only one defense witness to testify, while the prosecution put 14 people on the stand.

Truckloads of police in riot gear were stationed near the Rangoon Divisional Court ahead on Tuesday ahead of the ruling.

The pro-democracy leader faces up to five years in prison on charges of violating her house arrest by allowing an American man to stay at her lakeside Rangoon house after he swam there last month uninvited.

The 63-year-old Aung San Suu Kyi already has spent more than 13 of the last 19 years under house arrest.

Critics say the trial is a pretext for Burma's military rulers to keep the pro-democracy leader in detention through next year's election.

Burma has been under military rule since 1962. Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won elections in 1990, but the military refused to recognize the results.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.