May 15th, 2009
03:35 PM ET

American who swam to Suu Kyi's home faces 3 charges

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/05/15/myanmar.swimmer/art.yettaw.jpg caption="Officials in Myanmar say this self-portrait was found on John Yettaw's digital camera."]

Three charges have been filed against a Missouri man who is accused of swimming across a lake and sneaking into the home of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi while she was under house arrest, a U.S. Embassy official said Friday.

A hearing for John Yettaw was held Friday at Insein Prison near Yangon, where Suu Kyi also is being held. The official said Yettaw is charged with immigration violations, trespassing into a restrictive area and contributing to Suu Kyi violating the conditions of her house arrest.

Yettaw's trial is scheduled for Monday.

On Thursday, a spokesman for Suu Kyi's political party said Yettaw was charged with two criminal counts: entering the country illegally and staying at a resident's home without government permission. Both charges would carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

It was not immediately known why there was a discrepancy in the charges.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Myanmar
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    Ps toprior mail.
    The reason for the difference in charges is that they do not want to prove seditious intent against the swimmer only against her, which will be much easier for the dictators.

    May 16, 2009 at 1:42 am |
  2. Ruth

    That man has cojones for swimming to Aung San Suu Kyi. At least it's brought attention to Burma and their band of thugs.

    May 16, 2009 at 1:42 am |
  3. J.V.Hodgson

    GOON,MORON,IDIOT enough said on that.
    His motives are irrelevant.
    He just gave a bunch of dictators reason to keep her out of politics until she dies.
    Typical of certain xenophobic Americans believing that he individually could change what international diplomacy has been unable to do, and he just made it worse!!
    I'll bet he was blythely unaware that her detention could have ended in a few days legally,but actually, no matter, the dictators would have found another reason sooner or later after her release to detain her prior to the next election.
    Nevertheless shame on him!!

    May 16, 2009 at 1:38 am |
  4. Aung Aung

    It is really hard to understand. Here are the reasons. 1) According to Junta newspaper, the location of Yettaw arrest is 1.5 miles from Suu Kyi house. He left Suu Kyi's house at night and got arrested 5 am the next morning while swimming. Was he in the water for more than 5-7 hours in dark? (2) The lake shoreline is very high security area, includes US Embassy, Junta official guest house, other high ranking officials private residences, and Yangon University. How can he swim 1.5 miles without anyone seeing him? (3) It is junta's responsibility to protect ASSK while she is under house arrest. Instead of punishing their own security in charge for failing to protect her, why junta arrest ASSK?

    May 15, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  5. Andrea

    I would like to understand what his motives were. What was his reasoning? If she was due to be released on May 27th, why not sit tight until then instead of foolishly risking her detention release, as well as his own safety!!

    May 15, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  6. Marian

    Does anyone seem to know why this man did this???

    May 15, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  7. Terry, TX

    As a Bugs Bunny would say.....what a "marooooon"....crossing borders illegally and getting caught has accomplished what. Now a second person is in jail. Burma could care less.

    May 15, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  8. Racheal R

    at least someone has done SOMETHING to bring more media attention to the lack of justice being held against Aung San Suu Kyi. She should not be held under house arrest, just anther slip in the ladder of liberty in Burma.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  9. Mark

    I'm from Missouri and..well...."Just show me". What a idiot.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm |