Possible to refer Jong-nam murder to Int'l Criminal Court: ICC President

ARFA YUNUS

KUALA LUMPUR: The assassination of North Korean national Kim Jong-nam could be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) if Malaysia decides to become a member of the Rome Statute.

ICC President Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi, who is on a courtesy visit to Malaysia, said this is because the ICC deals with cases in totality, not just to prosecute standalone criminal acts.

"(However), the ICC can only exercise its function (if) a crime is committed in a member state that is part of the treaty.

“But (even though Malaysia is not a signatory to the treaty, we can still investigate the crime) if the United Nations Security Council refers the case to the ICC," she said, citing cases of crimes in Sudan and Libya, which were referred to the ICC.

She pointed out, though, that cases referred to the ICC should be of the "entire situation, and not a single case," where the ICC prosecutor would assess the whole situation in determining if there is a case.

In the case of the downing of flight MH17 in 2014, de Gurmendi said that the ICC does not have retrospective powers to prosecute the case since, again, Malaysia is not a member of the Rome Statute.

Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was killed at the klia2 departure hall on Feb 13 when he was approached by two women who smeared his face with the banned nerve agent, VX.