Click to view image: 'c7b20f586f27-kyi.jpg'Burma's pro-democracy leader told a court Tuesday she didn't believe she was violating her confinement orders when shelter was provided to an unexpected visitor.
Aung Suu Kyi testified Tuesday for less than 30 minutes in court at the Insein Prison in Rangoon, the capital of Burma, also known as Myanmar.
The 63-year-old Nobel Peace laureate is accused of violating the terms of her house arrest after an American man stayed at her home without official permission. According to her restriction order, she is prohibited from having contact with embassies and political parties, and is barred from communicating with the outside world.
The offence is punishable by up to five years imprisonment.
She is standing trial with two female members of her party who live with her, and John W. Yettaw, the American who swam to Suu Kyi's lakeside home under the cover of darkness and in uninvited.
Suu Kyi testified Yettaw arrived at her home at about 5 a.m. on May 4. She was informed of his presence by one of the other women.
She said she did not report his presence to authorities and spoke with Yettaw and gave him "temporary shelter." She said he left in the late evening of May 5.
Her testimony is scheduled to continue Wednesday.
Suu Kyi's lawyers have said she did not report Yettaw's presence because she did not want him or the security personnel to get into legal trouble.
Her legal team has argued she is not legally responsible for the incident because Yettaw's arrival was the result of a security breach on the tightly guarded grounds and the fault lies with the attending officers.
The defence has also argued in court that Suu Kyi did not invite Yettaw to stay and asked him to leave. The lawyers have said he was only allowed to stay because he was too ill to leave immediately.
Suu Kyi and the women who live with her have pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Yettaw, who faces charges of illegally entering a restricted zone and breaking immigration laws, has also pleaded not guilty. He has told the court he had a dream that Suu Kyi would be assassinated and he had come to warn her that her life was in danger.
But Burma's courts are operated under the influence of the ruling junta, and has a history of dealing with political dissents harshly. Suu Kyi is widely expected to be found guilty.
World leaders have denounced the trial as an attempt by the junta to silence its chief opponent ahead of 2010 elections.
Suu Kyi's latest round of house arrests was scheduled to end on Wednesday.
She has spent 13 of the last 19 years in detention without trial for her non-violent promotion of democracy in Burma. Her National League for Democracy won national elections in 1990, but the military junta refused to relinquish power.
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