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Two Sentenced to Death in Myanmar for Killing Lawyer, Adviser

Kyi Lin, center, and Aung Win Zaw, who are accused of the murder of Muslim lawyer Ko Ni, arrive at Insein court in Yangon, Myanmar, Feb. 15, 2019.

A Myanmar court has sentenced two men to death for the killing of a top Muslim lawyer and close adviser to country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

The court in Yangon Friday found the alleged gunman, Kyi Lin, guilty of premeditated murder and illegal possession of weapons for the killing of Ko Ni at the Yangon airport, Jan. 29, 2017.

An accomplice involved in planning the killing was also sentenced to death on similar charges.

The court sentenced two other men involved in the crime, both ex-military, to prison terms. A fifth person, also with ties to the army, the suspected mastermind of the crime, remains at large.

Ko Ni was shot in the back of the head while waiting for a taxicab with his infant grandson in his arms.

He was a vocal critic of the army-imposed constitution that prevents Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president. Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, National League for Democracy, has branded Ni’s killing a “terrorist act” designed to thwart their policies.

The constitution established under Myanmar’s former junta gives the military broad powers by guaranteeing them a quarter of parliament seats.