IGP denies report of mistake, says cops knew murder victim was from North Korea

FAISAL ASYRAF


SUBANG JAYA: Police have refuted a news report that claimed investigators had mistakenly sought help from the South Korean embassy to identify Kim Jong-nam's remains soon after his death on Feb 13.


Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said police had already knew the victim was from North Korea, as clearly stated on the victim's passport.


"The claim is nonsense. Are we (police) that stupid? From the passport, we knew that this person, Kim Chol hailed from North Korea," he said, when met at One City, here today.


Khalid said that on the day the body arrived at the hospital, officials from the North Korean embassy had confirmed the identity of the victim as Kim Jong-nam.


"However, the next day, they made a U-turn and claimed that it was Kim Chol. So, being professional, we identified the body as Kim Chol, while waiting for the DNA test to ascertain the victim's identity."


A foreign wire yesterday reported that at the initial stage of the case, Malaysian authorities had wrongly identified the victim and sought the help from the South Korean embassy.


After the mix-up was realised, the report said North Korea’s diplomatic mission was informed on the day of the murder.


Meanwhile, Khalid pointed out that investigations into Jong-nam's murder case was still ongoing, despite the body being sent back to North Korea.


"The investigation will not stop here. We're still waiting for North Korea to hand over the four main suspects. We will wait no matter how long it will take." he said.


Malaysia had agreed to release Jong-nam's body to North Korea and in return, allowed North Koreans to leave the country, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in a statement yesterday.


The deal puts an end to a drawn-out diplomatic drama over the murder that happened at klia2 on Feb 13.


Diplomatic ties between Malaysia and North Korea have deteriorated sharply after the former refused to grant custody of Jong-nam's remains to North Korea.


Malaysia had instead conducted an investigation and autopsy on the body, which according to the police, revealed that Jong-nam was poisoned using a VX nerve agent, which is a banned mass destruction chemical weapon.


Two women who have allegedly wiped Jong-nam's face with the poison have been charged with murder.