A North Korean male suspect linked to the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the now-deceased half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was arrested on Friday night, Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) said on Saturday in a written statement.
Malaysia’s police department said a 46-year-old male suspect was arrested in Selangor at 2150 local time.
Ri was identified as a North Korean via i-Kad, a document which the Immigration Department of Malaysia issues to foreign workers. The male suspect’s name is Ri Jong Chol, born on 6 May 1970.
“The Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) arrested a Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) citizen in Selangor,” RMP said in the statement.
“He is suspected to be involved in the death of a North Korean male on February 2017.”
The arrested North Korean appears to be one of four male suspects who are believed to have given an order to two female accomplices to murder Kim at Kuala Lumpur airport on Monday morning, local media The Star reported on Saturday morning, ahead of the official announcement.
Malaysian police haven’t officially announced the results of a post-mortem of Kim, who is suspected to have been attacked with poison. The police so far classified Kim’s case as “sudden death,” not murder.
Meanwhile, North Korea’s Ambassador to Malaysia Kang Chol on Friday said the DPRK government would reject the results of any autopsy on Kim Jong Nam, while also accusing the Malaysian government of working with the North’s enemies.
Ambassador Kang maintained the Malaysian police ignored his request to release the body without further delay, and this “strongly suggests that the Malaysian side is trying to conceal something which needs more time and deceive” the North.
Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, Inspector-General of Police, on Saturday dismissed Kang’s claim, Malaysian News Agency Bernama reported.
The Inspector-General said the process of the investigation won’t be completed until a DNA sample from Kim’s family is obtained, saying “everyone has to obey and follow our rules and regulations” and “North Korea is included.”
Malaysian police told Reuters on Friday that they would not release the body to the North Korean embassy as they had not received an application from his next of kin.
The first female suspect holding a Vietnamese passport was detained on Wednesday morning at Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s low-cost KLIA2 terminal. 28-year-old Doan Thi Huong apparently later returned to the scene of Monday’s crime.
The second female suspect with an Indonesian passport, 25-year-old Siti Aishah, was caught on Thursday morning, but the police didn’t provide details on the place of the arrest.
Selangor police chief, Datuk Abdul Samah Mat, told NK News that two women would be remanded for seven days from Thursday.
Two female suspects were identified from CCTV footage at the airport. Malaysian media released the CCTV footage that reportedly shows the suspect at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 at the time of the alleged murder.
Police arrested a third person for questioning on the death of Kim on Wednesday evening, with an aim to assist in investigations.
That man is a Malaysian citizen, named by police as 26-year-old Muhammad Farid Bin Jalaluddin, and said by police to be the boyfriend of a female suspect who was arrested a few hours later, an allegedly Indonesian woman who documents identified as Siti Aishah.
Featured Image: Kim Jong Nam’s Facebook
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