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Trial of Burma's Democracy Leader Hears Last Defense Witness

After some weeks of delay, the trial of Burma's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has heard testimony from the last of only two allowed defense witnesses. The trial has been widely criticized as rigged to keep the opposition and democracy leader locked up.

The trial of Aung San Suu Kyi resumed Friday in Rangoon with the final defense witness taking the stand.

The defense witness, Khin Moe Moe, argued that the charges against the democracy leader were invalid because the 1974 constitution she was being tried under was abolished in 1988.

Aung San Suu Kyi is charged with violating the terms of her house arrest for allowing an uninvited guest without official permission.

She could be sentenced to five years in prison.

One of Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyers, Nyan Win, spoke to VOA after the hearing ended.

He says the hearing took the whole day while the second and last witness from the defense side, Khin Moe Moe, testified and answered questions. He says the prosecutors spent most of the time arguing against the testimony rather than asking questions.

Aung San Suu Kyi's defense team had requested four witnesses but was only allowed two, while the prosecution was allowed 14.

The trial has been internationally criticized as a show trial designed by Burma's military government to keep her locked up through next year's elections.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won Burma's last elections in 1990, but the military refused to honor the results.

The trial resumed a week after the U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, visited Burma to ask that she be released.

However, Mr. Ban was not even allowed to meet with the democracy leader, which he called "deeply disappointing."

Two of Aung San Suu Kyi's live-in assistants and the American man who unexpectedly turned up at her house are also on trial, facing similar jail time.

The trial is set to resume in two weeks when final arguments will begin.