YANGON - The American man at the center of the trial against Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi swam to her house after having a vision that her life was in danger, Suu Kyi's lawyers said on Thursday.
Diplomats were again barred from the court inside the notorious Insein prison on Thursday, a day after the junta opened the trial for the first time since it began on Monday.
The gesture at transparency failed to ease international pressure on the regime to free Nobel laureate Suu Kyi.
Thursday's session heard the first hint of a motive for John Yettaw's bizarre actions two weeks ago that could see Suu Kyi jailed for up to five years if she is found guilty of breaking the terms of her house arrest.
Nyan Win, a spokesman for Suu Kyi's party and a member of her defense team, said on Thursday Yettaw had made the comments on Tuesday as the court heard testimony from a police officer who had questioned the American.
Nyan Win said Yettaw told his lawyer to ask the officer: Do you remember that I told you at the interrogation that I had a vision that her life would be in danger?.
I had come to Myanmar to warn Myanmar authorities and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi against that danger, Nyan Win quoted the 53-year-old American as saying. The court refused to allow Yettaw's lawyers to ask the officer the question.
Yettaw, who state media said used homemade flippers and flotation devices to swim to her home on May 4, did not discuss his motives at a meeting with U.S. diplomats after his arrest.
On Thursday, the court was shown a two-hour video taken by Yettaw inside the home, Nyan Win said. At one point, Yettaw turned the camera on himself.
I have now arrived in Aung San Suu Kyi's house in Myanmar. I asked her permission to take her picture, but she refused, Nyan Win quoted Yettaw as saying.
She looks frightened and I am sorry about this.
The Missouri resident is charged with immigration violations, entering a restricted area and violating a security law guarding the state from those desiring to cause subversive acts.
Suu Kyi and two female assistants who also live in her home were charged under the same draconian security law a week ago.
Her lawyers argue she did not invite Yettaw and should not be held responsible for the actions of a troubled man.
Critics say the scripted trial is aimed at silencing the charismatic leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) until after a multi-party election in the former Burma in 2010.
We are happy that the Myanmar authorities let our people see Daw Suu Kyi, but it's not the end, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said in Bangkok.
Our main objective is the release of all political prisoners that will lead to national reconciliation, he said.
Suu Kyi's current detention order expires on May 27 after a spell of six years.
The recently ill Suu Kyi appeared healthy and confident during the 45-minute hearing on Wednesday attended by 29 diplomats and 10 Burmese journalists. She said she hoped to see them in better days.
Singapore ambassador Robert Chua said she told them national reconciliation was still possible if all parties so wished and it was not too late for something good to come out of this unfortunate incident.
In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the upcoming election would be illegitimate because of the treatment of the charismatic NLD leader.
It is outrageous that they are trying her and that they continue to hold her because of her political popularity, Clinton told a congressional hearing.
Suu Kyi has been detained for more than 13 of the past 19 years, most of them at her home in Yangon, guarded by police, her mail intercepted and visitors restricted.
Despite the tight security at her home, authorities say Yettaw, who according to media reports suffers from asthma, swam across Inya Lake and sneaked inside the lakeside compound.
Police said Suu Kyi and her companions violated the terms of her house arrest by allowing him to stay there for two days.
Her lawyers say she told him to leave but he refused, and Suu Kyi did not report him for fear he would get into trouble.
At Wednesday's hearing, police captain Tin Zaw Tun said he found several items left at Suu Kyi's home as gifts by Yettaw, who had first tried to meet her on November 30 but she refused.
The items included two black chadors, the robes worn by Muslim women in public, two black scarves, two long skirts, swimming goggles and some books, the captain said in a report by the state-owned New Light of Myanmar.