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On UN Linked Burma Murder Plot Htut Guilty Wants Time Served as Still No UN Answers

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Complaint

UN GATE, Jan 25 – After the Burma coup regime purported to fired the New York-based UN ambassador of Myanmar U Kyaw Moe Tun for his speech in New York in the usually scripted UN General Assembly, two Burmese were criminally charged with trying to kill him. One was been detained, as exclusively live tweeted by Inner City Press, below. Inner City Press has since covered the UN's complicity with, and French banks' funding of, the Burma junta.

  On July 7, days before the trial set to begin on July 11, the presiding SDNY judge severed some counts while moving forward with the conspiracy: "OPINION & ORDER as to Phyo Hein Htut. The Government charged Defendant Phyo Hein Htut ("Defendant") with one count of conspiracy to assault a foreign official in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 112(a), through an indictment filed by the Government on December 5, 2022 (ECF No. 26). The Government filed a Superseding Indictment (S1) on May 2, 2023. (ECF No. 41.) The Superseding Indictment (S1) adds charges for false statements in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2).... Defendant's motion to sever is GRANTED. Trial on the conspiracy count will proceed as scheduled, with jury selection beginning on July 11, 2023. The Court will schedule trial on the false statement counts for a later date. Full 36 page Order on Patreon here.

Docketed on July 24: "The Jury finds defendant Phyo Hein Htut Guilty on Count One. Jury Polled, Verdict Unanimous. Original signed Jury Verdict form attached (marked as Court Ex. #2). Defendants post-trial motion briefing schedule is as follows: moving papers shall be filed on September 21, 2023; Government's opposition papers shall be filed on November 21, 2023; reply papers shall be filed on December 6, 2023. The parties are directed to provide the Court with two paper courtesy copies and one set to be emailed to chambers. PSI is ordered. Sentencing is scheduled for March 14, 2024 at 11:30 am."

The sentencing was moved up to February 8, 2024. On January 25, 2024, Htut's lawyer wrote in asking for a sentence of time served (approximately 30 months).

Back on August 11, 20 year-old Ye Hein Zaw, who with a Burmese interpreter got his income approved on April 6 as low enough for free counsel hired a private attorney, one who is described as a Wall Street lawyer half of whose clients are French: Matthew Galluzzo.

 On December 10, a guilty plea: today the guilty plea of YE HEIN ZAW, a citizen of Myanmar, for his role in a conspiracy to assault and make a violent attack upon Myanmar’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.  ZAW is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Halpern on May 10, 2022."

On March 16, 2022, this: "STIPULATION IN SUPPORT OF APPLICATION FOR 8TH OR SUBSEQUENT ORDER OF CONTINUANCE AND 8TH ORDER OF CONTINUANCE as to Phyo Hein Htut. Time excluded from 3/16/2022 until 4/13/2022. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Judith C. McCarthy on 3/16/2022)"

Htut asked for US public money to put on a witness from Myanmar, who would say Htut was a pro democracy activist. The US said if the unnamed witness is deposed, it should be in White Plains. Then, two sealed documents.

On May 2, Htut was the subject of a superseding indictment with false statements added, including his claim that he told people at the Mission about the threats.

On May 18, 2023, the US Attorney's Office filed its motions in limine, including arguing that Htut "should not be allowed to present a duress defense unless and until he proffers evidence to the Court that is sufficient to support such a defense." Watch this site.

 Burma did not speak at the UNGA High Level Week, from which UNSG Antonio Guterres and PGA Abdulla Shahid banned Inner City Press.

  Burmese sources consulted by Inner City Press wondered aloud if the Thai arms merchant in the Complaint, or allies, might have any role. Inner City Press will keep covering the case, and asking UNSG Antonio Guterres' spokespeople Stephane Dujarric and Melissa Fleming, who don't answer even a law firm's pro bono letter, and Linda Thomas-Greenfield, about it.

On the afternoon of August 6 this: Criminal complaint on Inner City Press' DocumentCloud here: the arrests of PHYO HEIN HTUT and YE HEIN ZAW for conspiracy to assault and make a violent attack upon Myanmar’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations [Kyaw Moe Tun].  HTUT and ZAW were charged in two separate complaints...   Between at least in or about July 2021 through at least on or about August 5, 2021, HTUT and ZAW, citizens of Myanmar currently residing in New York, conspired to injure or kill Myanmar’s Permanent Representative to the UN.

During the conspiracy, HTUT communicated with an arms dealer in Thailand (the “Arms Dealer”) who sells weapons to the Burmese military, which overthrew Myanmar’s civilian government in or about February 2021.  In the course of those conversations, HTUT and the Arms Dealer agreed on a plan in which HTUT would hire attackers to hurt the Ambassador in an attempt to force the Ambassador to step down from his post.  If the Ambassador did not step down, then the Arms Dealer proposed that the attackers hired by HTUT would kill the Ambassador.          

      Shortly after agreeing on the plan, ZAW contacted HTUT by cellphone and transferred approximately $4,000 to HTUT through a money transfer app as an advance payment on the plot to attack the Ambassador.  Later, during a recorded phone conversation with ZAW, HTUT discussed how the planned attackers would require an additional $1,000 to conduct the attack on the Ambassador in Westchester County, and for an additional payment the attackers could, in substance, “finish off” the Ambassador.  In response, ZAW agreed, in substance, to pay the additional $1,000 and to try to obtain the additional money.

 Inner City Press managed to find and live tweet the presentment of Zaw, here:

OK - now criminal presentment for attempt to kill Burma's UN Ambassador of PHYO HEIN HTUT & YE HEIN ZAW before  @SDNYLIVE  Magistrate Judge Andrew E. Krause. Inner City Press has reported it (even as banned from UN by SG  @AntonioGuterres ) and will live tweet below

 Zaw has a Burmese interpreter, a Mr. Leong - certified in California but not New York. He's being sworn in by Judge Krause. No one objects.

 Judge: This is an initial appearance, to determine if bail may be set. You have the right to remain silent, any statement that you do make may be used against you. Do you understand? Zaw (though interpreter) Yes

 Zaw is applying for a public defender, paid by US taxpayers. Judge: Do you have funds behind that set forth in this affidavit?

Judge: Mr. Zaw, you are entitled to have the consulate of Myanmar visit you. [Note: which consulate? There's a dispute who represents the country here, post-coup] Zaw: Please notify them later, when it become necessary, your Honor.

Zaw: I am 20 years old. Judge Krause: Have you taken any drugs or alcohol in the past 24 hours? Zaw: No.  Defense: We are not making a bail application today. [So Zaw will be detained - where? MCC? Valhalla?]

Assistant US Attorney: Defendant was arrested yesterday at 1 pm. He was not able to be presented until today. Judge Krause: We had to locate an interpreter. Then he wasn't available until after 3 pm today...

Judge Krause: Mr. Zaw, you are charged with participating in a conspiracy. Have you reviewed the complaint with the interpreter? Yes. Public reading of the complaint waived.

 Zaw wants a copy of the Complaint translated into Burmese. He doesn't have it yet. Judge Krause: It may take a few days. Preliminary hearing on September 1 - but might not happen, if there is an indictment by the grand jury.

Judge Krause: Would the government be seeking detention? AUSA: Yes. As an extreme risk of flight. Judge Krause: Mr. Zaw will be detained.

At the UN, SG Guterres removed Burma's or Myanmar's army from the UN "list of shame" for recruiting and using child soldiers, despite more than 200 cases. Emboldened by corrupt Guterres, they are recruiting and using even more. Now a call for Guterres, trying to steal a second term, to reinstate them on the list - but from a group which seems to join Guterres in banning Inner City Press from (its) press conference.

This case is US v. Htut, 7:22-cr-671 (Roman)

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