Tag Archives: Burma

Burma: Suspects in NLD Lawyer’s Killing Will Ask to Review Indictment at Divisional Court

March 9, 2018

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The defense lawyers for the four suspects in the killing of prominent lawyer U Ko Ni will present a criminal revision petition to the Yangon Division High Court next week, requesting that the judge reconsider the indictment order issued by the Northern District Court.

U Kyaw Kyaw Htike, the defense lawyer for accused gunman Kyi Lin, told The Irrawaddy after the 48th court hearing for U Ko Ni’s murder trial on Friday that he will present the criminal revision to the divisional court on March 16 on behalf of all of the defendants.

U Ko Ni, a constitutional lawyer and legal adviser to the ruling National League for Democracy party, was gunned down outside Yangon International Airport on Jan. 29 last year. Police detained four suspects in connection with the crime: accused gunman Kyi Lin and three alleged co-conspirators Zeya Phyo, Aung Win Zaw and Aung Win Tun.

After nearly a year of preliminary hearings, the court charged Aung Win Tun under the Penal Code’s Article 212, which prohibits harboring an offender but allowed him to stand trial on bail last month after he deposited 50 million kyats (about US$37,300) for his release from custody. The other three suspects were indicted for premeditated murder, which carries life sentences.






Burma: Lawyer, protester facing trial for ‘insult’ during 2015 protest

February 13, 2018

The Myanmar Times

A MAN who took part in the 2015 protest for the democratisation of education and a lawyer who defended the jailed protesters are facing trial two-and-a-half years after the fact, according to the Union Lawyers & Paralegals Association.

They are being prosecuted by Tharrawaddy township for insulting a public officer on duty, under criminal law section 228.

The passage of the National Education Law in September 2014 sparked a protest by student unions, who said the law was too strict. On March 10, 2015, security forces beat protesting students at Letpadan township in Bago Region, injuring about three dozen. About 100 protesters were arrested.

In April 2016, during the early days of the NLD government, the student protesters’ case was closed and those arrested were released. However, lawyer Daw Khin Khin Kyaw, who defended the protesters, and Ko Than Htike, who joined the protests, still face trial nearly two-and-a-half years later.


Prosecution by Tharrawaddy township started in September 2015, and the two defendants have appeared in court 52 times.

Daw Khin Kyaw Kyaw, lawyer of the accused, said: “I was prosecuted while covering the students’ cases. When the new government was elected, the NLD closed that case and other political cases but not our case.

“It has been a long time and it is really exhausting for me. The trial is wasting my time and money. They are prosecuting a lawyer with section 228, which is a law from the colonial era. This law should not remain under a democratic regime,” she added.



Burma: Suspected U Ko Ni killers to face death

February 12, 2018

The Myanmar Times

THE Yangon Region North District Court has allowed the prosecution of three accused killers of prominent lawyer U Ko Ni for the charge of murder, a prosecution lawyer said.

The judge decided last Friday to try the accused Kyi Lin, the suspected gunman, and two of his accomplices – Aung Zaw Win and Zayar Phyo – for violations that carries a maximum penalty of death under penal code 302(1)(b), according to lawyer U Khin Maung Htay.

Aside from the charge of murder, Kyi Lin and Aung Win Zaw are also charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.









Burma: Police hunt four men over threats at U Ko Ni hearing

February 9, 2018

The Myanmar Times

Police have began a manhunt for four supporters of the man accused in the shooting death of prominent lawyer U Ko Ni who allegedly wore T-shirts with threatening messages at the hearing of the murder case last week.

The four supporters of Kyi Linn, who is accused of killing U Ko Ni, allegedly wore T-shirts that read: ‘Eat rice till stomach full’, a saying in Myanmar which means to eat rice before being killed soon.

U Ko Ko Htwe, vice police chief of Insein township, said the four suspects have been charged under sections 505(b) and 189 of the penal codes.

Section 505(b) penalises those who make, publish or circulate any statement, rumor or report with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public or to incite any person to commit a crime against the state or against public tranquility.


Section 189 refers to those who threaten public servants.

The case stemmed from an incident at the February 2 court hearing on the killing of U Ko Ni at Yangon North District Court.

U Ko Ni who was prominent lawyer and legal adviser to the National League for Democracy (NLD) who was killed, along with a taxi driver, outside Yangon International Airport on January 29, 2017.










Burma: Gunman Was Blackmailed into Killing U Ko Ni, Lawyer Says

February 2, 2018

A defense lawyer for the accused gunman in the shooting death of prominent Muslim lawyer U Ko Ni said his client was blackmailed into carrying out the murder and didn’t know the mastermind behind the assassination.

U Kyaw Kyaw Htike, a defense lawyer for accused gunman Kyi Lin, told the media after a hearing at Yangon’s Northern District Court on Friday that an individual named Myint Swe had threatened his client with harm if he did not kill U Ko Ni, the late legal adviser to the ruling National League for Democracy.

“If he didn’t do it, who would take responsibility for his and his family’s survival?” U Kyaw Kyaw Htike asked, adding that Kyi Lin had never met U Ko Ni before the incident and had no personal motive for murdering him.

U Ko Ni was gunned down outside Yangon International Airport on Jan. 29 last year. Taxi driver U Nay Win was also fatally shot as he tried to apprehend the assassin.

Police have detained four suspects: Kyi Lin and alleged co-conspirators Zeya Phyo, Aung Win Zaw and Aung Win Tun. Police allege that former military Lieutenant-Colonel Aung Win Khaing, who remains at large, masterminded the assassination.

At Friday’s hearing, prosecutors presented judges with their closing arguments, capping 10 months of witness testimony in the murder trial of the four accused.










Burma: Lawyers mark one year since U Ko Ni’s death

January 29, 2018

The late U Ko Ni. Photo - Facebook

Lawyer groups marked the first anniversary of U Ko Ni’s assassination on Sunday with a call for the swift punishment of his accused murderers.


The Myanmar Lawyers Network, Yangon Lawyer Association and Media Lawyers Network collected memorial donations for the prominent Muslim lawyer, as well as for taxi driver Ko Nay Win, who were gunned down outside Yangon International Airport on January 29, 2017.

Police have detained four suspects: gunman Kyi Lin and alleged co-conspirators Zeya Phyo, Aung Win Zaw and Aung Win Tun. Their trial began ten months ago, but, after 40 hearings, there is still no verdict.

“Even though the murder was a year ago, the main suspect is still at large. It is essential that he be arrested so that the trial can finish,” said U Robert San Aung, a lawyer and member of the Myanmar Lawyers Network.

Police allege that former military Lieutenant Colonel Aung Win Khaing, who remains at large, was the mastermind of the assassination.













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#StopTheKillings #HRDMemorial #Burma / #Myanmar

A year ago, #HRD U Ko Ni was shot and killed by a gunman at the international airport in Yangon. Police have detained four suspects and a trial has been ongoing for the past 10 months but, after 40 hearings, there is still no verdict.

Front Line condemns the killing of U Ko Ni and maintains the call for authorities in Myanmar to:

1. Carry out a thorough and impartial investigation into the killing of human rights defender U Ko Ni, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

2. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Myanmar are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.

U Ko Ni was a human rights defender and human rights lawyer. He was the legal advisor for the National League for Democracy and participated in the pro-democracy protests known as the 88 Uprising and was a former political prisoner. Upon release, he became actively involved in the interfaith peace movement and advocated for the rights of Muslim citizens in Myanmar. He strongly opposed the country’s race and religion protection bill which was introduced in August 2015 and which restricted interfaith marriage and caused a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment. In 2016, he helped found the Myanmar Muslim Lawyers Association. He also wrote six books on good governance and various human rights issues.

Read more about U Ko Ni here: https://hrdmemorial.org/hrdrecord/u-ko-ni/

Take action: https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/action/take-action-u-ko-ni

(Front Line Defenders Facebook)


Burma: NLD Lawyer’s Loss Still Felt One Year Later

January 26, 2018

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U Ko Ni, the prominent Muslim lawyer who represented countless families and individuals for more than four decades, would have never imagined that he would become the center of a high-profile criminal case. He was shot at close range in broad daylight by a gunman on Jan. 29 last year and his death became one of the most talked about incidents in news. He was 63.

The reason behind his assassination is still unclear, while Monday marks one year since the tragic event.
The National League for Democracy (NLD) legal advisor was also a constitutional expert who had long lobbied for the drafting of a new national Constitution as the current charter was drafted by the military and criticized as undemocratic. Many speculated that his agitation for constitutional change was the reason he was killed. While the motive for the murder has never been satisfactorily explained, according to the minister for home affairs, it was a “personal grudge” on the part of the arrested suspects, who he said were “resentful” of U Ko Ni’s political activities. However, many suspect the involvement of more powerful people eager to put an end to the reform efforts of the prominent NLD lawyer.

The Katha native came to Yangon in 1971 to study law at Yangon University. Born to a poor family that couldn’t afford to pay for his studies, he had to work for his tuition fees. He became a lawyer in 1976.