Myanmar: Ko Ni murder verdict leaves questions unanswered
Responding to the conviction of four people in connection with the assassination of prominent lawyer Ko Ni in Myanmar, Amnesty International’s Director of Crisis Response, Tirana Hassan, said:
“Despite today’s verdict, serious questions remain about whether all those responsible have been brought to justice. Myanmar’s authorities have shown time and again that they are unable to conduct credible investigations or ensure accountability, and this has perpetuated a climate of impunity in the country. This long and tortuous trial has done little to bring light to the assassination of one of the country’s most prominent lawyers.
“Although no-one sentenced to capital punishment has been executed since 1988, we are disturbed that two of the defendants have been sentenced to death. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and without exception.”
Ko Ni was a prominent lawyer and adviser to Aung San Suu Kyi and her party the National League for Democracy. He was shot dead at Yangon airport in 29 January 2017 after returning from a leadership conference in Indonesia.
Four people were arrested and charged in connection with the assassination of Ko Ni. Gunman Kyi Lin and Aung Win Zaw, a former military officer who recruited him, were each sentenced to death after being found guilty of premeditated murder. Two other men were sentenced to five and three years in prison. A fifth suspect Aung Win Khine, a former military officer and the alleged mastermind of the assassination, has yet to be apprehended.
Kyi Lin also received a 20-year prison sentence after being found guilty of causing the death of taxi driver Ne Win, who was killed while attempting to apprehend the fleeing gunman.