Man to be re­leased due to lack of ev­i­dence

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: A North Korean man, held over King Jong-nam’s mur­der, is ex­pected to be re­leased to­day and de­ported.

Chemist Ri Jong-chol, 47, who was de­tained on Feb 18, will be freed when his re­mand ex­pires as there was in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to charge him.

“He will be re­leased and de­ported as he does not have valid doc­u­ments,” At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Tan Sri Mo­hamed Apandi Ali said yes­ter­day.

Jong-chol was held af­ter in­ves­ti­ga­tors dis­cov­ered he had driven one of four North Korean men who were sought in the case.

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

It was be­lieved that Jong-chol was a friend of Jae-nam, the prime sus­pect among the four.

Jong-chol ap­peared to have lived in Malaysia with his wife and daugh­ter for over three years.

In­spec­tor-Gen­eral of Po­lice Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said po­lice had yet to re­ceive any feed­back from the North Korean em­bassy here on seven North Korean men who were named as per­sons of in­ter­est in the case.

The seven are Ji-hyon; Hong; Jong-gil; Jae-nam; Hyon Kwang­song, 37, the sec­ond sec­re­tary at the em­bassy; Kim Uk-il, 37, an Air Ko­ryo staff and Ri Ji-u, 30, also known as James.

Khalid said the em­bassy had not ex­tended the co­op­er­a­tion re­quested by po­lice, filed to them through the For­eign Min­istry.

“No, we did not get any­thing from the North Korean em­bassy,” he said.

Po­lice said they would use all le­gal means to com­pel Ji-hyon and James, should they fail to come for­ward, to fa­cil­i­tate the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Last week, Khalid said; “If you have noth­ing to hide, you don’t have to be afraid.”

This af­ter po­lice an­nounced they were be­ing sought in the case. So far, none has turned up.

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