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Suu Kyi's trespasser on spiritual quest

May 15, 2009 at 10:54 AM   |   Comments

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YANGON, Myanmar, May 15 (UPI) -- A U.S. Vietnam veteran imprisoned for trespassing at the Myanmar home of Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was on a spiritual quest, his wife says.

Betty Yettaw of Missouri says it wasn't the first time her husband, John William Yettaw, 53, visited Suu Kyi.

"He probably thought he would be in and out and no one would know, because that's what happened before," Yettaw told The Daily Telegraph. "He just wanted to get some comments from her."

Instead, he was arrested as he swam away from the house wearing a pair of flippers he had fashioned from a pair of sandals and some wood.

Already psychologically scarred by the Vietnam War, Yettaw was tipped over the edge by the death of his teenage son two years ago, the Telegraph reported Friday.

His intrusion prompted Myanmar's ruling generals to transfer Suu Kyi to Yangon's notorious Insein prison.

Yettaw faces five years in prison for entering a restricted zone and one year for immigration offensives.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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