NAYPYIDAW — A former Burma Army lieutenant colonel is suspected of involvement in the killing of U Ko Ni at Rangoon International Airport on Jan. 29, the President’s Office said in a press release on Wednesday.
The press release named Aung Win Khaing, 45, as a suspected conspirator who hired gunman Kyi Lin to shoot U Ko Ni, the legal advisor to Burma’s ruling party the National League for Democracy (NLD).
Aung Win Khaing is the third person named in connection with the murder by the President’s Office, after it identified Kyi Lin and Aung Win Khaing’s elder brother Aung Win Zaw.
Aung Win Khaing joined Burma’s Defence Service Academy at age 19 in 1991, making him part of the 36 intake. He went on to become a major of Infantry 13 in Chauk Township, Magwe Division, where he served as a company commander.
In 2010, he was assigned as interim commanding officer of Infantry 32 at Kyainseikgyi Township in Karen State.
After promotion to lieutenant colonel in 2011, he was named commanding officer of the same infantry division.
Before his retirement in 2014, Aung Win Khaing worked as an instructor at No. 14 Military Advanced Training Depot in Loikaw, Karenni State.
His elder brother Aung Win Zaw is also a retired military officer.
A current navy colonel also from the 36 intake told The Irrawaddy that he was surprised to learn Aung Win Khaing was suspected of involvement in U Ko Ni’s killing.
“We attended the second-in-command training together—he may have something we don’t know about him,” the colonel said.
Another fellow intake remembered Aung Win Khaing as someone religious and polite.
“He came to our 36 intake gatherings, and we learned he was doing business. So this news is a big surprise to me,” he said.
Some sources believed that Aung Win Khaing had worked as a security officer for the previous Sagaing Division Chief Minister, U Tha Aye, but The Irrawaddy has not been able to verify this.