YANGON - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, currently on trial for breaking the terms of her house detention, now faces a civil court case in which she must fight for ownership of her house, her lawyer said Tuesday.
Suu Kyi’s cousin, retired army officer Lieutenant Colonel Khin Maung Aye, on July 24 posted a public notice in the Mirror newspaper, claiming that he owned a portion of Suu Kyi’s compound in Yangon and had already sold it.
The advertisement said that anybody who wanted to oppose the sale could register a legal objection within seven days.
“I have informed Daw (Mrs) Aung San Suu Kyi of this matter and she said she will take the necessary legal action against this announcement,” Suu Kyi’s lawyer Nyan Win told DPA.
Suu Kyi, 64, is currently on trial for breaking the terms of her detention in her lakeside house-cum-prison for allowing US national John William Yettaw to swim to her compound and spend two nights, albeit uninvited, without informing the authorities.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who has spent 14 of the past 20 years under house arrest, faces three to five years in jail if found guilty by a special court set up in Insein Prison.
Final arguments for the case will be made later Tuesday.
If the verdict is guilty, it is unclear where authorities would detain Suu Kyi if not at her lakeside home.
The compound was initially owned by Suu Kyi’s mother Khin Kyi, who died in 1988.
A quarrel over ownership of the property has been an issue for years. Khin Maung Aye has claimed Khin Kyi gave him a portion of the compound before she died.
Suu Kyi’s lawyers deny the claim.
“The whole compound is legally possessed by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,” said Nyan Win.
Asked whether the civil case may have been raised for political reasons, Nyan Win said, “Of course, they want her to be busier.”
Khin Maung Aye was a former managing director of a news and periodicals enterprise under the ministry of information.