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Search continues for fugitive in Ko Ni killing as Interpol wades in

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Aung Win Khine, pictured here, is the alleged mastermind of a plot to kill the prominent lawyer Ko Ni.

Law enforcement authorities are exerting every effort to track down Aung Win Khine, the fugitive suspected mastermind in the killing of prominent lawyer Ko Ni early this year, the chief of the Myanmar Police Force said on Monday.

Zaw Win, the MPF chief, said at a press conference that police in the capital Naypyidaw were working together with authorities all the way down to the village and ward level in their pursuit of the wanted man. Information on Aung Win Khine, including pictures of him and details on his background, have been disseminated to relevant authorities in all of the country’s states and divisions, he added, as well as providing those materials to members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the event that the suspect has fled Burma to another country in the region.

Last week, Interpol announced that it had put out a “Red Notice” on Aung Win Khine, alerting law enforcement officials within all countries party to the international policing organisation that he is a wanted man in Burma.

According to Interpol, “A Red Notice is a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition.”

However, “It is not an international arrest warrant,” and Interpol “cannot compel any member country to arrest an individual who is the subject of a Red Notice. Each member country decides for itself what legal value to give a Red Notice within their borders.”

In a statement from the President’s Office earlier this year, Aung Win Khine was identified as the alleged mastermind behind the assassination of Ko Ni, who was gunned down outside Rangoon International Airport on 29 January. The alleged gunman Kyi Lin, along with three others implicated in the killing, have been detained.

Aung Win Khine, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Burma Army, is accused of paying out 100 million kyats ($73,500) to have Ko Ni killed. The slain was a legal adviser to the ruling National League for Democracy and was said to have been working on a strategy to amend the military-drafted 2008 Constitution at the time of his death.