Sunday, 17 October, 2021
E-paper

Myanmar junta says had ‘nothing to do’ with UN envoy plot

Myanmar junta says had ‘nothing to do’ with UN envoy plot

YANGON: Myanmar’s junta had “nothing to do” with an alleged plot to attack the country’s ambassador to the UN, who has defied the military and backed the pro-democracy movement, state media said on Tuesday, reports AFP.

Kyaw Moe Tun made headlines after the army’s February coup, brazenly disregarding its insistence that he no longer represents the country at the New York-based body.

Last week United States prosecutors said they had charged two Myanmar citizens over an alleged plot to hire hitmen who would force him to resign or, if he refused, kill him.

“Myanmar has nothing to do with this incident,” the state-backed Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said Tuesday, in the junta’s first comments on the case.

“The said plot... happened among the residents inside the United States of America.”

Actions should be taken “in accordance with the law of the land”, it added.

Suspects Phyo Hein Htut, 28, and Ye Hein Zaw, 20, are being charged in a federal court on counts for which they could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

Prosecutors said Phyo Hein Htut had been in touch with an arms dealer in Thailand who had dealings with the military in Myanmar.

The arms dealer spoke to Phyo Hein Htut about hiring assailants for the plot, which involved sabotaging the ambassador’s car to force it to crash, the criminal complaint said.

More than 900 people have died in Myanmar as the military seeks to crush protests against the coup, according to a local monitoring group.

Kyaw Moe Tun—who is wanted in Myanmar for high treason—has repeatedly called for international intervention to help end unrest and reinstate civilian government.

Last week he sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to report an alleged massacre of 40 civilians by the military in the Sagaing area of northwestern Myanmar over several days in July.

The junta has denied the accusations, while AFP has not been able to independently verify the reports.