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Judges in Myanmar postpone verdict in Aung San Suu Kyi's trial

YANGON, Myanmar — Judges in Myanmar postponed the verdict Friday in pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's trial until Aug. 11 — a sign, activists say, that the ruling junta is hesitating in the face of outrage abroad and fears of unrest at home.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate is accused of violating the terms of her house arrest when she harbored an American man who swam to her lakeside house and secretly entered the compound. Critics say the military has seized upon the bizarre intrusion as an excuse to keep Suu Kyi jailed through next year's scheduled elections — the country's first free vote in nearly two decades.

Suu Kyi, 64, has been detained for 14 of the past 20 years and was under house arrest at the time of the incident.

Activists and other supporters of Suu Kyi said it was difficult to determine the reason behind the delay, though the regime may be struggling with how to present the verdict — which Suu Kyi herself has said is already "painfully obvious" — to the world.

Others said the ruling generals have pushed the announcement to after the sensitive Aug. 8 anniversary of the failed 1988 uprisings.

On Friday, the judges indicated they were not prepared to rule.

"Judge Thun Nyunt said the trial is adjourned until Aug. 11 to consider some legal issues concerning the case," defense lawyer Nyan Win told reporters.

Judges in Myanmar postpone verdict in Aung San Suu Kyi's trial 07/31/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 31, 2009 10:47pm]
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