KUALA LUMPUR: The family of North Korean chemist Ri Jong-chol, detained over the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, might have gone into hiding.
This follows Jong-chol’s arrest by the police last Feb 17, to facilitate investigations into the killing which occurred at the KL International Airport 2 (klia2), four days earlier.
The 47-year-old suspect’s remand order expires tomorrow.
A Bernama check of the Jalan Kuchai Lama condominium unit where the family last stayed was found locked.
According to a neighbour, the murder suspect’s wife and two children had left the unit hurriedly, a few hours after Jong-chol, who is also an IT expert, was arrested.
“I don’t know where they (Jong-chol’s family) went. Jong-chol’s wife and children left in a hurry. We are still in shock over what had happened,” he said.
A Bernama journalist who went to enquire the family’s condominium unit and whereabouts was accompanied by two security guards who cautioned against taking photographs or risk confiscation of the camera equipment.
Bernama was made to understand that the condominium residents had requested for heightened security following Jong-chol’s arrest.
Two others, Siti Aishah, 25, an Indonesian national, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, a Vietnamese citizen, were charged at the Sepang Magistrate’s Court yesterday for Jong-nam’s murder.
It was reported that Jong-nam was at klia2 on Feb 13 to board a flight to Macau when two women allegedly wiped his face with toxic liquid which was later identified as ‘VX’ nerve agent.
Jong-nam, reportedly sought help at a customer service counter at the airport and was rushed to the Putrajaya Hospital but died on the way. He had arrived in Malaysia on Feb 6.-- BERNAMA