Brother Defends Accused Mastermind of NLD Lawyer Assassination in Court

By Htun Htun 25 January 2018

YANGON — Aung Win Zaw, the brother of Aung Win Khaing, the accused mastermind behind the January 2017 assassination of U Ko Ni, a prominent lawyer and legal adviser to the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), told a court hearing on Thursday that the suspect had nothing to do with the killing.

In an announcement on Feb. 15, 2017, the President’s Office accused Aung Win Khaing, a former military lieutenant-colonel who remains at large, of hiring gunman Kyi Lin to assassinate U Ko Ni outside Yangon International Airport on the afternoon of Jan. 29.

Police have detained Kyi Lin and three alleged co-conspirators: Zeya Phyo, and two brothers of Aung Win Khaing, Aung Win Zaw and Aung Win Tun.

“He [Aung Win Khaing] will appear when time is right. He is not [the mastermind]. I don’t want to say more for fear that it will influence the trial. The judges will decide,” Aung Win Zaw told reporters after the hearing.

Thursday’s hearing was the 40th in the case to be heard at the Northern District Court of Yangon. The trial continues on Friday.

Aung Win Khaing was last seen in the first week of February in the administrative capital of Naypyitaw. Police told the Yangon court in June they had no new leads on his whereabouts.

The Home Affairs Ministry has said that a warrant has been issued for Aung Win Khaing’s arrest, and that pictures of him had been sent to ASEAN police forces and Interpol.