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August 11, 2009

Burma court finds Suu Kyi guilty

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Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced to 18 months of house arrest, after a court found her guilty of violating security laws.

Ms Suu Kyi, a 64-year-old Nobel peace laureate, was on trial for allowing a US national into her lakeside home after he swam there.

Critics of Burma's military regime say the verdict is designed to prevent her from taking part in elections in 2010.

Ms Suu Kyi has spent nearly 14 of the past 20 years in detention.

Her American visitor, John Yettaw, was jailed for seven years including four years of hard labour.

Ms Suu Kyi was taken straight back to her home after the end of the trial, officials said.

She had always denied the charge but said she expected to be convicted.

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was "saddened and angry" by the verdict and described the trial as a "sham".

In a strongly-worded statement, Mr Brown said it was "a purely political sentence".

A statement from the office of Nicolas Sarkozy said the French president was calling on the European Union to impose new sanctions on Burma.

The EU presidency said it would impose "additional targeted measures against those responsible for the verdict".

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Aung San Suu Kyi should not have been convicted, and she also called for the release of American citizen John Yettaw.

Source: BBC News

About August 2009

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