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Appeal to reinstate witnesses for Suu Kyi rejected

Appeal to reinstate witnesses for Suu Kyi rejected

Myanmar's highest court Monday rejected an appeal by lawyers of Aung San Suu Kyi to reinstate two key witnesses in a trial that has sparked global outrage.
The High Court upheld a lower court ruling, meaning Suu Kyi will be granted only two defense witnesses in her ongoing trial. She faces up to five years in prison if found guilty.
The 64-year-old Nobel laureate is charged with violating the terms of her house arrest when an uninvited American man swam secretly to her lakeside home and stayed two days.
Her hearing has drawn global outrage from world leaders and human rights groups who say Myanmar's junta is using the incident as an excuse to keep the country's opposition leader behind bars.
Suu Kyi has been in detention for more than 13 of the last 19 years.
Her trial resumes July 3 when an additional defense witness will testify before the District court inside Insein prison where Suu Kyi has been facing trial since May 18.
The court presiding over the trial in Myanmar's largest city, Yangon, had allowed only one of four defense witnesses to take the stand. On appeal, the Yangon Divisional Court ruled that a second witness could be heard.
Suu Kyi's lawyers pursued a second and final appeal to reinstate the remaining two barred witnesses, Win Tin and Tin Oo, both senior members of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy.
Prosecutors argued that Win Tin, a prominent former journalist and ex-political prisoner, should not be allowed to testify because he is critical of the government and often gave interviews to foreign media, said Nyan Win.
The defense team argued there was no law in the tightly ruled country that bars court testimony from government critics, Nyan Win said.
Prosecutors argued that Tin Oo, the party's deputy leader, shouldn't be allowed to testify because he is currently under house arrest, Nyan Win said.
Defense lawyers noted to the court that Suu Kyi herself was under house arrest but that didn't stop authorities from putting her on trial, Nyan Win said. Suu Kyi was allowed to testify May 26 and her term under house arrest officially ended the next day.
She is currently detained at Insein Prison.