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5 December 2009
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Myanmar court to hear appeal

Myanmar's supreme court has agreed to hear an appeal against the extended house arrest of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Reuters quoted an official as saying Friday.

The Nobel laureate, 64, was ordered to spend another 18 months in detention in August after being convicted over an incident in which a US man swam to her lakeside house. A lower court rejected an initial appeal in October.

“The supreme court decided to hear Aung San Suu Kyi's request. Lawyers have to present arguments before the court on Dec 21,” the official said on condition of anonymity, adding that the decision had been posted on the noticeboard of the court in the former capital Yangon on Friday.

Nyan Win, a spokesman for Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), confirmed that the top court had agreed to hear the appeal but said he had no further details.

Myanmar's ruling junta has kept Ms Suu Kyi in detention for 14 of the last 20 years, ever since the iron-fisted generals refused to recognise the NLD's landslide victory in the country's last democratic elections in 1990.

The extension of her house arrest after a trial at Yangon's notorious Insein Prison sparked international outrage as it effectively keeps her off the stage for elections promised by the regime some time in 2010.

But in recent months there have been signs of rapprochement between Suu Kyi and the junta, while the United States is now promoting engagement with the regime because sanctions on their own have failed to bear fruit.



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