Aung San Suu Kyi will spent the next year and a half in detention after a court today found the Burmese pro-democracy leader guilty of breaking the terms of her house arrest.
Reports from the Burmese capital, Rangoon, said the court had imposed a three-year sentence, which the country’s military leaders immediately commuted to 18 months on the orders of military government which said she could serve the sentence in her Rangoon home.
Aung San Suu Kyi, 64, had been accused of harbouring an American, Jon Yettaw, who swam uninvited to her lakeside compound last month.
Observers had expected a guilty verdict at the end of a trial that has drawn widespread condemnation.
Opponents of the Burmese junta, which has ruled with an iron fist since 1962, say the verdict is designed to keep Aung San Suu Kyi out of the public eye during elections scheduled for early next year.
Yettaw, a 53-year-old from Missouri described as an eccentric by his family, spent two nights at Aung San Suu Kyi’s home in early May. He had visited her, he said, to warn her of a dream in which he had foreseen her assassination.
There were no immediate reports of unrest outside Insein Prison, where the defendants have been held for more than three months, despite speculation that a guilty verdict might spark protests by members of Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition National League for Democracy.
Al Jazeera reports on the verdict: