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Verdict Postponed in Trial of Burmese-American Activist

A Burmese court has delayed a verdict in the case of a Burmese-born U.S. citizen charged with fraud and forgery.

The lawyer for Kyaw Zaw Lwin told reporters Wednesday the judge postponed the verdict until February 10.

Kyaw Zaw Lwin, also known as Nyi Nyi Aung, was arrested last September after arriving at Rangoon's airport, and was put on trial the following month. The charges are in connection with possessing a forged national identity card and failing to declare foreign currency.

Kyaw Zaw Lwin was one of the organizers of the 1988 pro-democracy uprising. He fled Burma for neighboring Thailand following a military crackdown on activists. He later emigrated to the United States and became a citizen.

He traveled to Burma to visit his ailing mother, who is serving a prison sentence for political activities.

Kyaw Zaw Lwin staged a hunger strike shortly after his arrest to protest inhumane prison conditions in Burma. Witnesses say he has been tortured, denied food and medical care, and confined in a dog pen.

An official at the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon tells VOA's Burmese Service the embassy is monitoring Kyaw Zaw Lwin's case closely, and continues to press the Burmese military government to observe international standards of due process in the matter.

A Thailand-based advocacy group for Burmese political prisoners, Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), say Kyaw Zaw Lwin's family has been banned from visiting him in detention.