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Defendants in Ko Ni murder trial back in court

Aung Win Zaw, right, one of four men accused of being involved in the murder Ko Ni, is escorted as he arrived at a court in Rangoon on 17 March 2016. (Photo: AFP)

The four defendants standing trial for the murder of prominent National League for Democracy legal adviser Ko Ni appeared in court for a second time on Friday.

Kyi Lin, Aung Win Zaw, Zayar Phyo and Aung Win Tun are facing charges of murder, harbouring criminals and illicit weapons possession, and on Friday Rangoon’s Northern District Court heard initial questioning on the latter.

Aung Khine, Aung Win Zaw’s defence attorney, argued Friday that the prosecution did not have a case to make against his client regarding the weapons charge.

“The documents and weapons were seized from Kyi Lin at Mingaladon [airport]. Aung Win Zaw was not arrested around there. He was arrested near the Thanlwin Bridge, quite far. There is nothing that police have submitted for Aung Win Zaw on the weapon case,” he said.

Kyi Lin is the accused gunman in the case. Ko Ni was shot dead outside Rangoon International Airport, also known as Mingaladon, on 29 January and Kyi Lin was wrestled into submission nearby, but not before a taxi driver — who attempted to pursue the alleged gunman — was also killed.

Friday’s hearing was confined to the weapons charges that Kyi Lin and Aung Win Zaw are facing and did not address the murder charges. According to prosecuting lawyer Nay La, defendants Kyi Lin, Aung Win Zaw and Zayar Phyo are facing murder charges — the latter two as coconspirators — while Aung Win Tun is facing a lesser charge of harbouring a criminal suspect.