Testifying before the court, Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has said that she had not violated any law when she let an uninvited American intruder in to spend the night three weeks ago, said reports.
“I didn’t,” she said, when a judge asked her if she had violated the terms of her house arrest, according to Agence France-Presse, whose reporter was one of several locally based journalists permitted to attend.
Aung San Suu Kyi, 63, was testifying for the first time since going on trial in a prison courtroom a week ago. She pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges that carry a prison term of up to five years, a harsher form of detention than the house arrest under which she has been held for 13 of the past 19 years.
According to information, Aung San Suu Kyi told the court that the American, John Yettaw, had arrived at her home at about 5 a.m. on May 4 after swimming across a lake but that she did not immediately know of his intrusion. She conceded that she had not informed authorities and said she had given him “temporary shelter” until he left just before midnight on May 5.
Her lawyers have said that she did not report Yettaw’s presence because he complained of cramps and because she did not want him or the security officers who guard her house to get into trouble.
“Thank you for your concern and support,” she is reported to have told newsmen and diplomats before being escorted from the court. “It is always good to see people from the outside world.” It was the second time the reporters and diplomats had been allowed into the trial. Most foreign journalists are denied visas to enter Myanmar.
Her trial has drawn condemnation from around the world and a promise by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to visit Myanmar to call for her release.