Myanmar citizen pleads guilty in plot to attack dissident UN ambassador

NEW YORK (AFP) – A citizen of Myanmar pleaded guilty on Friday (Dec 10) to being involved in a plot to attack or kill the country’s pro-democracy UN ambassador, who has refused junta orders to quit, US officials said.

In August, Ye Hein Zaw, a resident of New York in his early twenties, conspired with two others to force Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun to resign or, if he refused, to kill him, according to prosecutors.

Zaw agreed to pay US$5,000 (S$6,800) for the attack, which was foiled by US investigators.

Zaw admitted in court that he “participated in a plot to injure or kill Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations in a planned attack that was to take place on American soil”, US attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.

“I commend the tireless efforts of our law enforcement partners at all levels of government to ensure the safety of foreign diplomats and officials in the United States and bring the perpetrators of this plot to justice,” Mr Williams added.

Zaw is due to be sentenced in May. He faces up to five years in prison.

It remained unclear what, if any, connection the suspect had with the military junta, which on Feb 1 overthrew the elected government of Ms Aung San Suu Kyi.

Mr Kyaw Moe Tun, chosen by the now jailed Ms Suu Kyi, has remained in office since the coup, asking that the UN let him keep his post.

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