Suspect admits plot to assassinate UN envoy in New York

Follow RT on A Myanmar national has entered a guilty plea after being accused of plotting to kill or injure the country’s United Nations ambassador on American soil, with the Department of Justice claiming the man likely conspired with others.

The suspect, Ye Hein Zaw, pleaded guilty on Friday to one count of conspiracy to assault and make a violent attack upon a foreign official, according to a DOJ release

“Between at least in or about July 2021 through at least on or about August 5, 2021, Zaw, a citizen of Myanmar residing in New York, conspired with others to injure or kill Myanmar’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations,” the department said, adding that the plot first sought to force the envoy to resign, and later proposed killing him.

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Zaw allegedly worked with at least one major co-conspirator, who was said to have reached out to an unnamed Thailand-based “arms dealer” with strong ties to Myanmar’s military government to work out details of the scheme. 

“Shortly after agreeing on the plan, Zaw contacted the co-conspirator by cellphone and, using a money transfer app, transferred approximately $4,000 to the co-conspirator as an advance payment on the plot to attack,” the DOJ continued, noting that the two also discussed additional payments for the ambassador’s assassination.

After the military overthrew the civilian government in Myanmar in February, the United Nations refused to recognize the junta’s own envoy, instead allowing Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun to continue serving in New York. Tun was not mentioned by name in the DOJ’s complaint, but has been a vocal critic of the new government, and confirmed to CNN that he was made aware of the attack plan in August.

At least one co-conspirator was also arrested alongside Zaw over the violent plot, though the status of his case and whether he also intends to plead guilty remains unclear. Zaw, however, is set to be sentenced in May, facing a maximum of five years in prison.

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