The trial of Aung San Suu Kyi resumed Friday after several weeks of on-and-off delays, with the defense presenting its closing arguments in a courtroom closed to reporters.
The holdup may have been intended to help the government of Burma (Myanmar) lay low during a time of international attention – including at a regional summit this week, held next door in Thailand and attended by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Not that any of the high-profile criticism since the trial began in May appears to be deterring Burma’s junta from bringing this trial toward its widely expected end: a guilty verdict for the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and a sentence of up to five more years in prison.
Trial seen as political ploy
Many analysts see the trial as a ploy to keep the democracy leader out of elections scheduled for next year.
Suu Kyi is charged with violating the terms of her house arrest by briefly hosting an American who swam to her house in May, claiming he was "on a mission from God." (The man, John Yettaw, is also on trial. Read about him here.)
The prosecution is to give its closing arguments Monday.
Global leaders have little influence
High-profile pleas for Suu Kyi's release over the past month have not appeared to sway the Burmese government.
An opinion piece in the Irrawaddy said the junta would certainly pay attention to the US diplomat’s words: “It’s unlikely the generals will follow-up on Clinton’s offer, even though they are listening carefully."
Listening, perhaps, but not enticed: The trial resumed the next day.