Jong-nam murder: N. Korean suspect to be released tomorrow

KHAIRAH N. KARIM and TEOH PEI YING

KUALA LUMPUR: North Korean citizen Ri Jong-chol, who was arrested in relation with the murder of Kim Jong-nam, will be released from police custody tomorrow when his second remand order expires.

This was confirmed by Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, who said there was insufficient evidence to charge him.

“He will be released and will be deported as he does not have any valid documents,” he told the New Straits Times this morning.

Ri, 47, was detained on Feb 18 after investigators discovered he had driven one of four North Korean men, who are being sought in the case.

He was arrested by police at his condominium in Jalan Kuchai Lama.

The four men, Ri Ji-hyon, 33; Hong Song-hac, 34; O Jong-gil, 55 and Ri Jae-nam, were believed to have fled Malaysia and returned to Pyongyang soon after the victim’s death on Feb 13.

Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, died after being attacked with VX nerve agent by two women at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2.

The two women, Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 29 and Indonesian Siti Aisyah, were charged with murder at the Sepang magistrate’s court yesterday.