Man in Suu Kyi case hospitalised

August 4, 2009 12:00 am

, YANGON, Aug 4 – The American man on trial in Myanmar for trespassing at Aung San Suu Kyi’s home was taken to a city hospital overnight after having convulsions in prison, a hospital worker told AFP Tuesday.

John Yettaw, 54, who has epilepsy and other health problems according to his lawyer, was taken from Insein prison to Yangon General Hospital on Monday night, the worker said, and was recovering after treatment.

"Mr Yettaw was hospitalised since last night. He is getting better now," the hospital worker said on condition of anonymity.

Yettaw was taken to the hospital by police after having a fit, and has been kept under guard away from other patients, the source said, adding that his condition was not serious. The source did not provide any further details.

The US embassy in Yangon and Yettaw’s lawyer, Khin Maung Oo, said they were not yet aware of the incident.

Khin Maung Oo said Yettaw had been staying at the prison’s hospital during his trial, where he had been receiving treatment for diabetes, epilepsy and a heart complaint by doctors from the health ministry.

"(But) when I met him for the verdict date on July 31 he said he was fine," the lawyer told AFP.

Yettaw, a former military veteran from Missouri, is on trial alongside opposition leader Suu Kyi and two of Suu Kyi’s female aides after he donned homemade flippers to swim to her home in May.

The devout Mormon said he embarked on his mission to warn Suu Kyi of a vision he had had that she would be assassinated.

He faces charges of abetting Suu Kyi’s breach of security laws, immigration violations and a municipal charge of illegal swimming. All four defendants face up to five years in prison.

Yettaw was arrested just days before the most recent, six-year spell of Suu Kyi’s house arrest was due to expire in the military-run nation.

Suu Kyi is accused of breaching the terms of her house arrest by giving Yettaw refuge at her house, but critics say the charges have been trumped up to keep her locked away until after elections scheduled for 2010.

A verdict in her case had been expected last week but judges postponed their pronouncement until August 11, saying they needed time to review the case.


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