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Burma Court to Hear Arguments for Aung San Suu Kyi Witnesses


Burma's Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on whether or not to allow more defense witnesses in the trial of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Lawyers for Aung San Suu Kyi say Burma's highest court agreed to hear their petition for more witnesses in her trial.

The ruling means lawyers for both sides will argue in front of the Supreme Court on whether or not to allow two more defense witnesses to testify.

The witnesses were previously banned from testifying by a prison court conducting the trial.

The court had originally allowed only one witness for the defense, but a higher court later gave permission for one more. The prosecution, however, was allowed 14 witnesses.

Nyan Win is one of Suu Kyi's lawyers. He told VOA the ruling would delay the trial.

"The trial will suspend one week or two weeks because the Supreme Court accept or admitted our petition," Nyan said.

Nyan Win says they should know on Friday when the Supreme Court will hear their arguments.

The two witnesses for the defense are senior members of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy Party. The NLD won Burma's last election in 1990, but the military government never allowed it to take power.

Aung San Suu Kyi was then placed under house arrest, where she has spent 13 of the last 19 years.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner is on trial charged with violating the terms of her house arrest for allowing an uninvited American man to stay at her house without official permission. Aung San Suu Kyi could be sent to prison for up to five years, along with two of her assistants and the American.

The trial is widely viewed as an excuse to keep the democracy icon locked up. U.N. human-rights investigators have condemned the trial for what they call "flagrant" rights violations.

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