Police: No New Leads in Locating Fugitive in U Ko Ni Murder Investigation

By Tin Htet Paing 9 June 2017

RANGOON — Police told Rangoon’s northern district court on Friday that there are no new leads in locating the fugitive Aung Win Khaing so that he might stand trial for the murder of National League for Democracy legal adviser U Ko Ni.

Two weeks ago, the district court ordered that the search for Aung Win Khaing be carried out again more thoroughly, after a ruling to do so was passed in higher courts. Police stated that they did a second search of two locations in Naypyidaw—the National Herbal Park and the Zeya Phyo Co. compound—on May 30, but did not find him. The initial search had taken place on Feb. 12, they explained.

“We have no new information about the fugitive and won’t be able to arrest him very soon,” the police official said.

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

Along with police officials, two Naypyidaw ward administrators also testified at the Friday court hearing regarding the search.

U Myint Naing, the Shwe Kyar Pin ward administrator who accompanied the police on their search for the fugitive at the Zeya Phyo Co. in February, told the court that an employee and a security guard of the company had claimed to have seen Aung Win Khaing for about two hours on Feb. 10, several days after the January murder.

Lawyer U Nay La, who represents the family of the assassinated U Ko Ni, told the media after the Friday court hearing that the testimony of the ward administrator is so far a new and significant piece of information for the trial.

“If necessary, we will have to request that the court call on the company employee and the security guard as witnesses to testify,” U Nay La said.

It’s been more than 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: 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 June 16, where the court will again examine six police officials regarding the search for the fugitive.

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