CHIANG MAI, Thailand — A former military officer in Myanmar is suspected of ordering the killing of a prominent human rights lawyer who was a top adviser to the country’s leader, the office of Myanmar’s civilian president announced on Wednesday.
The lawyer, U Ko Ni, one of the most prominent Muslims in the majority Buddhist country, was fatally shot at Yangon International Airport on Jan. 29 in what appears to have been a rare political assassination in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.
When he was killed, Mr. Ko Ni, who was 65, was returning to Yangon, Myanmar, from a trip to Indonesia. He had been cradling his young grandson in his arms when he was shot in the head.
In a statement released Wednesday evening, the president’s office said that Aung Win Khine, 45, a retired lieutenant colonel, was suspected of paying 100 million kyat, or about $71,500, to the person who killed Mr. Ko Ni.
The president’s office said Colonel Aung Win Khine, who retired from the army in 2014, was at large and published his photograph with a request for people to share information on his whereabouts.