PUTRAJAYA – Kim Jong-nam’s body is still at the National Institute of Forensic Medicine (IPFN), Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL), said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
He said the body of the half brother of the North Korean leader would remain under the responsibility of his ministry, until further advice from the Prime Minister’s Department and the Foreign Ministry.
“They are having discussions and once they have concluded the discussions and come to some kind of conclusion, they will advise the Health Ministry what to do,” he told reporters after the Health Ministry’s Excellence Service Award (APC) ceremony here, Tuesday.
Regarding media reports yesterday that the body was moved out of IPFN and returned back to the mortuary, Dr Subramaniam said it was news to him.
“As far as I know, the body has always been in HKL. Whether it was given to another group, the answer is no,” he said.
Dr Subramaniam also denied the rumours that Jong-nam’s body had been cremated, saying that the ministry could not do such things without the responsible parties giving them any directive or agreement.
“We have been waiting for the next-of-kin for a long time.
“But unfortunately they have not come forward to come and provide any assistance on how the body should be treated and now the Foreign Ministry is trying to find a solution how to move forward,” he said.
Asked about how long the ministry would keep the body, he said they were not following normal procedures of handling unclaimed bodies as it was a sensitive issue that involved other nations.
“We will try to keep it until we find a holistic solution to this problem,” he said.
Asked whether the ministry would do a second embalming on Jong-nam’s body following claims it was decomposing, Dr Subramaniam said the decision would be made by the forensic department.
Jong-nam, the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was murdered at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) on Feb 13 by two women using the highly toxic VX nerve agent.
Jong-nam, who travelled with a passport bearing the name of Kim Chol, died on the way to the Putrajaya Hospital. – Bernama