Two North Koreans initially identified as suspects: Jong-nam murder trial

08 Nov 2017 / 19:22 H.

SHAH ALAM: The two North Koreans from the embassy in Kuala Lumpur who assisted four of their citizens at-large to leave the country following the murder of Kim Jong-Nam were initially identified as suspects during investigations.
Investigating officer from the Sepang district police headquarters, ASP Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz told the High Court, here, that police were unable to serve an arrest warrant against second secretary to the North Korean Ambassador in Kuala Lumpur Hyon Kwang Song and Air Koryo manager Kim Uk-il as they had been hiding at the embassy.
During cross examination by defence counsel Gooi Soon Seng, the court also witnessed CCTV footage of the duo entering the KLIA parking lot at 8.20am in a Toyota Innova, before leaving at 4.24pm.
Previously, the court had witnessed footage of the duo helping the four suspects , "Mr Chang" was identified as Hong Song Hac, 34, "Mr Y" as Ri Ji Hyon, 33, "Hanamori @ Grandpa-Uncle as Ri Jae Nam, 57, and "Mr James" as O Jong Jil, 55, to leave Malaysia barely hours after the murder.
Further footage also showed that the duo were also spotted beyond the check-in and boarding areas.
To a question by Gooi, Wan Azirul Nizam admitted that both Hyon and Uk-il had left the country without his knowledge after he had recorded statements from them.
Earlier, Wan Azirul Nizam confirmed an online media report which quoted Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as stating that DNA samples had been obtained from Jong-Nam's son to determine the identity of Kim Chol.
Admitting that Kim Chol is Kim Jong-Nam, he also said that he had tried to obtain a DNA sample of Kim Chol's next-of-kin's through the North Korean embassy here but failed to receive any cooperation.
Wan Azirul Nizam did confirm that the four North Koreans at-large did not possess diplomatic passports after checking with the North Korean embassy.
He also testified that the Naza Ria which was used to ferry the North Koreans from klia2 to KLIA was purchased in October 2016 and was registered under the name of Chalsu, a staff of the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
The trial will resume today.
Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 29, along with four others still at large, were charged with the murder of Kim Chol, 45, at the KL International Airport 2 (klia2) departure hall at 9am on Feb 13 this year.
It was reported that Jong-nam was at klia2 on Feb 13 to board a flight to Macau when two women approached and suddenly wiped his face with toxic liquid which was later identified as the VX nerve agent.
Jong-nam, who travelled with a passport bearing the name of Kim Chol, died while on the way to the Putrajaya Hospital. He arrived in the country on Feb 6.
The murder charge under Section 302 of the Penal Code carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

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