Court Orders Police to Re-Examine Fugitive in Ko Ni Murder Trial

By Tin Htet Paing 26 May 2017

RANGOON —Rangoon’s northern district court ordered on Friday that the police reexamine the case surrounding the fugitive Aung Win Khaing in the U Ko Ni murder trial, including a nationwide search if necessary.

Last week, the Rangoon Division High Court rejected the petition from lawyer U Nay La—representing the family of the assassinated National League for Democracy (NLD) legal adviser U Ko Ni— requesting a new arrest warrant be issued in Naypyidaw for the fugitive.

Aung Win Khaing is suspected of involvement in the murder but remains at large. He was last seen in Naypyidaw, according to CCTV footage.

“Even though the High Court refused to issue a new arrest warrant, it ruled that the investigation of fugitive Aung Win Khaing [prior to the trial] was insufficient,” U Nay La told The Irrawaddy after the hearing at the northern district court on Friday.

“In accordance with the ruling of the High Court, the northern district court ordered [the police] that the search for the fugitive Aung Win Khaing be carried out again more thoroughly,” he explained.

Before the trial in early March, U Nay La initially requested that the northern district court issue the warrant in Naypyidaw, but the court ruled against the move.

Last month at the divisional court, he claimed that the district court had been handling the case “carelessly” and was “weak” in examining the fugitive in accordance with designated procedures.

It’s been nearly four months since the prominent Muslim lawyer U Ko Ni was shot by gunman Kyi Lin outside Rangoon International Airport on the afternoon of Jan. 29. Police have detained four suspects: gunman Kyi Lin, and alleged co-conspirators Zeya Phyo, Aung Win Zaw, and Aung Win Tun.

The next court hearing will be held at the northern district court on Jun. 2.

Shooter Kyi Lin and three alleged co-perpetrators—Aung Win Zaw, Aung Win Khaing and Zeya Phyo—are being charged under Article 302 of Burma’s Penal Code for murder.

Zeya Phyo, a former military intelligence officer, is also charged under Article 67 of the Telecommunications Law for the possession of restricted telecommunications equipment and Article 468 of the Penal Code for the forgery of national identity cards.

Two of the suspects—gunman Kyi Lin and alleged co-conspirator Aung Win Zaw—are also being charged under Article 19(d) and (f) of the country’s 1878 Arms Act for illegal arms possession and transportation, in addition to the murder charge.