Myanmar government lifted the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest Tuesday before it expired on Wednesday. But Suu Kyi still remains in detention while she was on charges of breaking the terms of house arrest.
The Nobel Peace laureate would face up to five years in jail if convicted for allowing an American intruder to stay at her home for two days in early May. She has denied the charges.
The house arrest has been lifted, but she is still under detention, Nyan Win, one of her lawyers, told reporters after Tuesday's session inside Yangon's Insein prison.
I don't know whether to be happy or sorry, he said.
Police Brigadier General Myint Thein said authorities considered freeing Suu Kyi before he allowed an American citizen to stay at her home, talked to him and provided him with food and clothes.
These things infringed on existing law and we unavoidably and regretfully had to take legal action against her, he told a group of diplomats and journalists.
They were allowed to watch the trial on Tuesday, the second time it has been opened in a rare concession to critics outside the military government.
“In light of the concern about the recent developments relating to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, ministers ... called for the early release of those under detention and the lifting of restrictions placed on political parties,” said a statement from foreign ministers attending the Asia-Europe Meeting in Hanoi.
Suu Kyi, one of more than 2,000 political prisoners in Myanmar, has been incarcerated for more than 13 of the past 19 years. Most of it has been spent at her lakeside Yangon home under police guard, her mail intercepted and visitors restricted.