June 29, 2018
The gunman who fatally shot U Ko Ni at Yangon International Airport last January has told Yangon’s Northern District Court that he was “forced” to kill the distinguished lawyer.
U Kyi Lin shot Ko Ni in the head on January 29, 2017, while the senior legal adviser to the National League for Democracy waited for a taxi with his grandson in his arms, in a rare political assassination that shocked the country. He was arrested at the scene after shooting dead taxi driver U Nay Win, who tried to prevent him from escaping.
Kyi Lin testified yesterday that shooting Ko Ni was an act of self-defence as he and his family had been threatened. He did not reveal who was behind the threats.
The motive for Ko Ni’s killing has not been properly explained but is widely seen as being politically motivated.
In his role with the NLD Ko Ni is thought to have been working on reforms that would have stripped the military of some of its considerable powers that are enshrined in the 2008 constitution. He was also a rare outspoken voice for the country’s Muslim population.