April 11, 2017
Law enforcement authorities are exerting every effort to track down Aung Win Khine, the fugitive suspected mastermind in the killing of prominent lawyer Ko Ni early this year, the chief of the Myanmar Police Force said on Monday.
Zaw Win, the MPF chief, said at a press conference that police in the capital Naypyidaw were working together with authorities all the way down to the village and ward level in their pursuit of the wanted man. Information on Aung Win Khine, including pictures of him and details on his background, have been disseminated to relevant authorities in all of the country’s states and divisions, he added, as well as providing those materials to members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the event that the suspect has fled Burma to another country in the region.
Last week, Interpol announced that it had put out a “Red Notice” on Aung Win Khine, alerting law enforcement officials within all countries party to the international policing organisation that he is a wanted man in Burma.
According to Interpol, “A Red Notice is a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition.”
April 5, 2017
Human rights lawyer Robert Sann Aung has reported receiving death threats and being followed just preceding and after the assassination of another prominent lawyer, U Ko Ni, on Jan. 29.
Legal activist Robert Sann Aung told The Irrawaddy that he was first approached on Dec. 19 last year by a man wearing civilian clothes in the airport in Bhamo Township, Kachin State, on the way back to Mandalay.
The man claimed to be from Military Intelligence, he said, but gave no evidence of the claim. Robert Sann Aung, a former political prisoner, tried to “ignore the man’s many questions.”
Since then, he added, the man has waited for him at the airport and followed him until he boarded his connecting flight on four separate occasions. He said people have come near his home, watching him twice a week for a while, as well as to his local teashop.
He has been receiving explicit photos, crude, insulting texts and threatening phone calls—some from international numbers—from men and women, mostly between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m.
April 4, 2017
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the European Union, EU Ambassador Roland Kobia organised a ceremony in Yangon to grant the first ever “Schuman Awards”for outstanding merits in promoting universal values which the EU actively supports across the globe such as human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights.
The awards were granted to U Ko Ni (posthumous), Daw Ja Nan Lahtaw and U Aung Myo Min.
“The Schuman Award recognises the merits of those who stand out in promoting core values of the European Union – and indeed universal values of humanity. U Ko Ni, Daw Ja Nan Lahtaw and U Aung Myo Min have dedicated their lives to working towards a better future for their country and all the people who call Myanmar their home. They are ambassadors for peace, democracy, human rights and equality. With this award, the European Union would like to honour the important work of our first Schuman Laureates,” said EU Ambassador Roland Kobia.
The Schuman Awards – named after former French Foreign Minister and founding father of the European Union, Robert Schuman – were established in 2017 to recognise the merits of Myanmar personalities in defending core European values of peace, democracy and human rights.
March 31, 2017
Rangoon’s Northern District Court began an examination of the murder charges in the assassination of prominent lawyer U Ko Ni as the suspects made their third appearance at the court on Friday.
Shooter Kyi Lin and three alleged co-perpetrators—Aung Win Zaw, Aung Win Khaing and Zeya Phyo—are being charged under Article 302 of the Penal Code for homicide. According to the lawyers who are handling the case, there are about 80 witnesses who will testify for the murder.
The head of Mingalardon Township police station Moe Naing submitted the case. He was examined by defense attorneys U Aung Khaing, who represented Aung Win Zaw, and U Kyaw Kyaw Htike, who represented Kyi Lin.
U Ko Ni, legal adviser to Burma’s ruling party the National League for Democracy, was shot by Kyi Lin outside Rangoon International Airport on the afternoon of Jan. 29. The police’s claim that Aung Win Zaw was with the gunman at the airport terminal, said the defense attorney, will only be legitimatized when the airport’s CCTV control room presents CCTV footage to the court.
The gunman also fatally shot an airport taxi driver, U Nay Win, while attempting to flee the scene. Kyi Lin was immediately apprehended at the crime scene.
March 24, 2017
Rangoon’s Northern District Court commenced examination of the assassination of prominent lawyer U Ko Ni as the trial began on Friday.
Among multiple offenses the alleged suspects were charged with, the trial opened with illegal arms possession and transportation charges against the gunman and one of the alleged co-perpetrators.
According to the police report, two of the suspects; gunman Kyi Lin and an alleged co-conspirator Aung Win Zaw, are being charged under Article 19(d) and (f) of the country’s 1878 Arms Act, in addition to Article 302 of the Penal Code for homicide.
Defense attorney U Aung Khaing, who represented Aung Win Zaw in court, examined the Mingalardon Township police official Mya Tun Kyaw who submitted the case, regarding the arms offense with which his client is charged.
U Aung Khaing told The Irrawaddy that there was no police report showing that the guns and bullets seized from the shooter Kyi Lin were associated with his client Aung Win Zaw.
Without such a police statement, Aung Win Zaw could not be indicted on charges of illegal arms possession or transportation, according to his attorney.
March 20, 2017
The high-profile killing of National League for Democracy (NLD) legal advisor U Ko Ni will be heard on March 24 at the Yangon Northern District Court.
Kyi Lin, the alleged gunman, and suspects connected to the assassination — Aung Win Zaw, Zayar Phyo and the recently arrested Aung Win Tun — will face questioning by tribunal judges while observed by reporters.
The judges hearing the case are the Deputy Judge from the Northern District Court, the Associate Judge from the Eastern District Court and a judge from the Western District Court.
The four men involved in the murder were brought to court last Friday for registration.
They were charged with murder under Article 302 of the Penal Code, committing a crime as a group with a common intention (Article 34), and harbouring an offender (Article 212).
Kyi Lin, who shot U Ko Ni, and Aung Win Zaw were also charged under Articles 19(d) and 19(f) of the Arms Act for transporting and possessing arms.
March 14, 2017
A close associate of murdered Myanmar lawyer Ko Ni says the constitutional expert was working on a plan to weaken the military’s political power when he was gunned down at Yangon’s airport soon after his return from a conference in Indonesia on January 29.
The revelation is likely to feed persistent suspicions – which have been denied – that the military had a role in the assassination.
Military still holds power
Despite handing over power to a civilian government led by the National League for Democracy (NLD) party of activist Aung San Suu Kyi, the Myanmar armed forces retain wide powers under a constitution it promulgated in 2008.
That constitution guarantees the military 25 percent of the seats in parliament and gives it a veto over any constitutional amendment. It also controls the Ministry of Home Affairs, giving it authority over much of the nation’s permanent bureaucracy.
Murdered lawyer Ko Ni may have found a loophole around the military.