News­men’s fo­cus on hos­pi­tal mor­tu­ary dies down

New Straits Times - - News -

The me­dia at­ten­tion at Kuala Lumpur Hos­pi­tal mor­tu­ary, where North Korean mur­der vic­tim Kim Jong­nam’s body is be­ing kept, has slowly died down, with only a hand­ful of press­men still camp­ing out­side.

Less than 10 news or­gan­i­sa­tions, both lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional, sent rep­re­sen­ta­tives there yes­ter­day, a far cry from the 100 or so jour­nal­ists and cam­era­men who had been stak­ing out the mor­tu­ary for the past few weeks.

To those used to see­ing the news­men gath­er­ing there, the place may have seemed a lit­tle de­serted.

While ten­sions be­tween Malaysia and North Korea re­sult­ing from Jong-nam’s as­sas­si­na­tion are now the main fo­cus of cov­er­age for the press, there was no mis­tak­ing that se­cu­rity around the mor­tu­ary re­mained tight.

Those wish­ing to en­ter the com­pound are still sub­ject to ques­tion­ing, and only those on of­fi­cial busi­ness are al­lowed into the area.

Re­porters and cam­era­men, mean­while, are still be­ing de­nied ac­cess to the mor­tu­ary.

But the New Straits Times ob­served that there were fewer po­lice­men sta­tioned there com­pared with the mid­dle of Fe­bru­ary, when the re­mains of the es­tranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had been trans­ferred there from Pu­tra­jaya Hos­pi­tal.

The daily stakeout, how­ever, is ex­pected to con­tinue un­til Jong-nam’s re­mains are claimed, os­ten­si­bly by fam­ily mem­bers.

This is be­cause there is still no word of when his next-of-kin would ar­rive to pro­vide DNA sam­ples for com­par­i­son, so that his iden­tity can be con­firmed be­yond doubt.

There is also the pos­si­bil­ity that a sec­ond post-mortem may be car­ried out, should the lawyers of ei­ther or both of the women ac­cused of his mur­der be suc­cess­ful in any such ap­pli­ca­tion.

PIC BY HAFIZ SOHAIMI

The scene out­side the Kuala Lumpur Hos­pi­tal mor­tu­ary yes­ter­day.

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