Myanmar court hears Suu Kyi appeal of house arrest

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YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar’s highest court began hearing arguments Monday on detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest and is expected to make a ruling later this week.

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

Suu Kyi’s lawyer Nyan Win said he will argue the extension was unlawful because it was based on provisions from the 1974 Constitution that are no longer in effect.

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.

Suu Kyi, who was barred from attending the hearing, has been detained for 14 of the past 20 years.

The 64-year-old Nobel Peace Laureate’s sentence would ensure she cannot participate in Myanmar’s first elections in two decades that will be held sometime this 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.

Nyan Win said the court is expected to issue its ruling in the next few days.

On Friday, Suu Kyi met with Cabinet minister Aung Kyi, part of her National League for Democracy party’s efforts to prepare for the elections. Suu Kyi’s party has not yet declared whether it will take part in the election.

Suu Kyi’s last meeting with Aung Kyi was on Dec. 9, when he informed her that her request to be allowed to meet with the party elders was granted. She met them on Dec. 16.