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KUALA LUMPUR – Kim Jong-nam was looking to defect just days before he was assassinated on Feb 13, according a BBC documentary.

The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wanted to become a citizen in Switzerland amid growing fears for his safety.

He reportedly said he wanted to move to Switzerland, where he spent his childhood at an International School to hark back to a time when he had “nothing to be afraid of”.

“He (Kim Jong-nam) texted me a message saying I’ll see you in Geneva, I’ll be back in 3 days,” Mischa Aznavour said in the documentary entitled North Korea: Murder in the Family.

“He felt more safe and more secure here, especially in Switzerland,” another friend, Anthony Sahakian said.

“Was he worried? Yeah, would he be talking about moving to Europe if he wasn’t slightly worried? Probably.”

Kim, 45, died when two women smeared a deadly agent in his face as he waited for a flight at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2.

Four North Korean suspects fled the country on the day of the murder. Ri Jong Choi, a North Korean citizen, was arrested as a suspect in the murder. He was later deported as there was insufficient evidence to charge him.

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 28, and Indonesian Siti Aishah, 25, have been charged with his murder. Both claimed they were taking part in a prank for TV. – BBC/The Sun

SHAH ALAM –  The Shah Alam High Court has set 23 days beginning Oct 2 for trial of two foreign women who were charged with murdering Kim Chol or Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Judge Datuk Azmi Ariffin fixed the date after the case came up for mention before him today.

Siti Aisyah, 25, of Indonesia, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, from Vietnam, were charged with four others still at large with the murder of Kim Chol, 45, at the KL International Airport 2 (klia2) departure hall at 9 am on Feb 13 this year.

The duo, who looked calm, were charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code which provides for the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

The plea from both accused will be recorded on the first day of the trial on Oct 2.

The Court also allowed the prosecution’s application for the case to be jointly tried.

Earlier, Selangor prosecution director Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad,  who led the prosecution team, applied for both the accused to be jointly tried as the case involved the same transaction.

He also informed the court that the prosecution would call 30 to 40 witnesses, including 10 expert witnesses.

Lawyer Gooi Soon Seng represented Siti Aisyah, while lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik acted for Doan.

They were first charged with the offence on March 1 at the Sepang Magistrate’s Court.

However, no plea was recorded from both accused as capital punishment comes under the jurisdiction of the High Court and on May 30, the case was transferred to the Shah Alam High Court.

According to Section 172B  of Criminal Procedure Code, the trial shall commence not later than 90 days from the date of the plea recorded from the accused.

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 Putrajaya Hospital.  He came to Malaysia on Feb 6.  – BERNAMA

 

SEPANG – The high-profile murder case of Kim Chol or Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has been set for remention on May 30.

Sessions Court Judge Harith Sham Mohamed Yasin, who sat as magistrate, allowed an application by Selangor prosecution director Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad to give the prosecution one and a half months to complete various documents.

Once the documents are completed, Muhamad Iskandar said he would apply to transfer the case to the High Court.

On March 1, Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 28, were charged along with four others still at large with murdering Kim Chol, 45, at KL International Airport 2 (klia2) departure hall around 9am on Feb 13 this year.

The duo were charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code which provides for the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

Their plea will be recorded when the case is mentioned at the High Court as capital punishment is under the jurisdiction of the higher court.

It was reported that Jong-nam was at klia2 to board a flight to Macau when two women approached and suddenly wiped his face with toxic liquid which was later identified as a VX nerve agent.

Jong-nam, who travelled with a passport bearing the name of Kim Chol, died on the way to Putrajaya Hospital. He had come to Malaysia on Feb 6. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Two foreigners who are facing a charge of murdering Kim Chol, or Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un will be brought before the Sepang Court again.

The high-profile case was fixed for mention tomorrow for the prosecution and lawyers for the duo to brief the court on its development.

On March 1, Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 28, were charged in the Magistrate’s Court with four others still at large, with murdering Kim Chol, 45.

They allegedly committed the offence at KL International Airport 2 (klia2) departure hall around 9am on Feb 13 this year, as charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code which provides for the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

No plea were taken from them as the case is under the jurisdiction of the High Court.

At the last proceeding, reporters who entered the courtroom were disallowed from bringing in any electronic equipment including mobile phones.

They were subjected to body search and four screenings by the police before being allowed to enter the courtroom.

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 a VX nerve agent.

Jong-nam, who travelled with a passport bearing the name of Kim Chol, died on the way to Putrajaya Hospital. He had come to Malaysia on Feb 6.

On March 31, media practitioners who had been camping in front of the National Institute of Forensic Medicine here since Feb 15, spotted a van which they suspected contained Jong-nam’s body, leaving the premises at 1.40pm.

The coroner approved the release of the body following the completion of the autopsy and receipt of a letter from his family requesting for the remains to be returned to North Korea. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has given his assurance that he will still oversee and give updates on the situation of Malaysian citizens in North Korea and the Kim Jong-nam’s murder case even when he is on a five-day official visit to India which begins today.

“In this modern day, you don’t have to be physically (present) here. I will give instructions even I’m on board the aircraft. They (authorities) know how to reach me 24 hours because I’m available. I have given necessary guidelines, directions, and they know what to do.

“We are concerned about them (Malaysian citizens in North Korea). They live a normal life there. But these guys (Malaysian kidnapped victims by Abu Sayyaf militant groups) are different, (they were) physically, mentally tortured for eight months.

“Imagine…they are on the brink of being decapitated. So they had gone through hell,” he told reporters after an informal meeting with three Malaysian kidnapped victims by Abu Sayyaf militant groups at his official residence in Taman Duta, here today.

The Prime Minister was asked on the latest situation regarding Malaysian citizens — three diplomats and six family members in Pyongyang, and whether the media could get updates if he is not in the country.

Meanwhile, Najib expressed his appreciation and gratitude to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte who had personally monitored the release of and rescue mission for three other Malaysian nationals who were detained by the Abu Sayyaf militants.

“I will personally contact him to convey our appreciation and gratitude on his personal efforts in the release of our nationals in conjunction with his 72nd birthday recently.

“This is a reflection of the closeness of the Philippine-Malaysia relations. I say thank you for this success. Also our appreciation to the Philippine military, Malaysian Armed Forces, Royal Malaysia Police, Wisma Putra, the Sabah state government, and Kelab Putera 1Malaysia which had helped in managing the release of our nationals,” he said.

It was reported that the three victims arrived at the KL International Airport (KLIA) about 8pm yesterday after being rescued by the Sulu Joint Task Force when carrying out the Full Force Military Operations in Sulu on March 26.

Najib said all the kidnap victims would undergo health examination in the near future and could return to their respective homes after completing the necessary processes.

The Prime Minister was also informed that some of the kidnap victims wished to join the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) for duty in the East Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) if they had a chance later.

“I have contacted Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department responsible for MMEA) to take them in as members of the team after undergoing training in the near future.

“This shows their spirit, in fact they know the condition on the islands there. As such, they wish to contribute in the efforts to intensify security in the Esszone areas,” he said.

Last Monday, Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor had met with and heard for themselves stories from two other fishermen who were also victims of the abduction, Tayudin Anjut, 46, and Abdul Rahim Summas, 63.

On July 18, all the five fishermen were abducted by the militant group, and the trawler vessel Serudong 3 which the victims had boarded had been found with the engine still running in the waters of Dent Haven, Lahad Datu. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – The remains of Kim Jong-Nam (pix), the half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, was released today by the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) for repatriation to his family — 41 days after he was murdered with a nerve agent at klia2 on Feb 13.

At noon today, a Toyota Vellfire hearse escorted by police was spotted entering HKL mortuary before leaving the place with the body about two hours later.

It is learnt that the body was taken to an unknown location which is believed to be a funeral parlour before being prepared for repatriation.

Police personnel closely guarding the HKL mortuary round-the-clock to keep hordes of newsmen at bay since Feb 14 were pulled out of the place today after the release of the body.

The gates to the mortuary were also reopened.

It is believed that the arrangements were made by Wisma Putra which is liaising with Jong-Nam’s family to receive the 45-year-old victim’s body in Macau before tomorrow.

Earlier in the morning, several police officers including the investigations officer of Jong Nam’s murder had gone to the North Korean embassy where they spent about three hours, purportedly to brief embassy officials ahead of the imminent release of Jong Nam’s body.

Police were tight-lipped about the latest developments on the case when contacted today.

Two weeks ago, Jong-Nam’s body was taken out of the HKL and underwent embalming at a funeral parlour in the city before being returned a day later. – Sun Daily

KUALA LUMPUR – Conducting of investigation by outsiders including North Korean agents into the murder of Kim Jong-nam here is against the law, says Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

He said any party that wished to investigate the case, should first seek permission of the Malaysian police as it could disturb the on-going investigation.

“If they want to do investigation here (Malaysia), not only the agents or spies but also the legal authorities need our permission and approval.

“(Any investigation they conduct will be illegal) because they have no power to question people and no power to look at the documents,” he told a press conference after the handing-over of KIA Sorento CRDI SUV 4×4 vehicles to the Royal Malaysian Police in Bukit Aman, here, today.

Khalid was asked to comment on reports that North Korean agents were investigating the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in this country on Feb 13.

Meanwhile, Khalid said he wanted all the suspects holed up in the North Korean embassy here to surrender themselves.

“We want the three individuals sought, who are in there (embassy). We know they are inside (the embassy),” he said.

The three individuals believed to be still at the North Korean embassy are its second secretary Hyon Kwang-song, 44, Air Koryo employee Kim Uk-il, 37, and the third suspect, Ri Ji-u, 30, also known as James.

Last Feb 13, Kim Jong-nam was murdered at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) while waiting to take a flight to Macau.

He was approached by two foreign women who wiped the VX nerve agent on his face. Jong-nam who was using a passport bearing the name Kim Chol, died while being taken to Putrajaya Hospital. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Last Sunday’s embalming of the body of murdered North Korean Kim Jong-nam can help preserve it for up to three months, and is useful if the remains have to be sent to North Korea, according to a Kuala Lumpur Hospital source.

It is learnt that the body was embalmed for fear that it would begin to rot during the wait for the next-of-kin to identify the remains at the hospital mortuary.

Jong-nam was at KL International Airport 2 (klia2) on Feb 13 to board a flight to Macau when two women suddenly appeared before him and allegedly wiped his face with the palms of their hands which contained what was later identified as the VX nerve agent. He was rushed to the Putrajaya Hospital but died on the way.

The hospital source told Bernama that bodies which were not embalmed could only remain from rotting for between a week and two weeks in the freezer of the mortuary.

“As the investigation into the murder of Jong-nam may take a long time, the management decided to embalm the body to prevent rotting which could jeopardise the probe,” the source said.

It said that if the government decided to send the remains to North Korea soon, the body could be taken there before decomposition set in.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said last Wednesday that Kuala Lumpur Hospital had embalmed Jong-nam’s body to prevent decomposition.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim confirmed yesterday that the next-of-kin of Jong-nam left it to the Malaysian government to manage the remains. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – Malaysian police have obtained the Interpol Red Notice for the arrest of four North Korean nationals in connection with the murder of Kim Jong-nam, said Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

“We have obtained the Interpol notice against them and we are hoping to get them through Interpol,” he said on the latest development in the on-going investigation into the Jong-nam murder case.

An Interpol Red Notice is the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use today.

Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was allegedly killed by two foreign women who wiped his face with the VX nerve agent while he was waiting to board a flight to Macau at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) on Feb 13.

Jong-nam, who carried a passport bearing the name of Kim Chol, died on the way to Putrajaya Hospital.

Two foreign women, Siti Aisyah, 25, an Indonesian, and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 29, were charged at the Sepang Magistrate’s Court on March 1 with murdering Jong-nam.

Khalid when met by reporters at the closing of the International Rohingya Conference, here, today said the four North Korean suspects were believed to be in Pyongyang now.

He said the four suspects were at klia2 during the incident and then left Malaysia.

The four wanted men are Rhi Ji-hyon, 33, Hong Song-hac, 34, O Jong-gil, 55, and Ri Jae-nam, 57.

They had entered Malaysia separately days before the murder.

Khalid said Jong-nam’s body had been handed over to the Health Ministry and Foreign Ministry to deal with it. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA: The family of Kim Jong-Nam has been given a time frame of three weeks to claim his remains, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam.

He said once the period is over, the government will decide on the next course of action.

Subramaniam added that Wisma Putra is trying to contact Jong-Nam’s next-of-kin.

“We have been told that he has wives and children. We hope that they respond and come forward to claim the body now that it is confirmed that the murdered victim is Kim Jong-Nam,” he said.

He revealed that the government is ready to take the next course of action if the body is not claimed.

“In the absence of family we will address it as a government through the Prime Minister’s department, the Home Ministry, and the Health Ministry,” he said at a press conference today.

He said the government will proceed with the next step after two to three weeks. – The Sun