IGP mum on iden­ti­fi­ca­tion process to pro­tect wit­nesses

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: The mys­tery sur­round­ing the iden­tity of the body that has been ly­ing at the Kuala Lumpur Hos­pi­tal mor­tu­ary has fi­nally been put to rest af­ter po­lice con­firmed that it be­longed to Kim Jong-nam.

In­spec­tor-Gen­eral of Po­lice Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar yes­ter­day said po­lice had ob­tained con­clu­sive ev­i­dence re­gard­ing the iden­tity of the re­mains of the man who was in pos­ses­sion of a North Korean pass­port un­der the name “Kim Chol”.

How­ever, he de­clined to di­vulge de­tails on the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion process for Jong-nam, the ex­iled half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

“We have estab­lished that ‘Kim Chol’ is Kim Jong-nam. We have ful­filled the re­quire­ment of the

law on his iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, but I am not going to tell you how it was done (to en­sure) the safety of the wit­nesses and for se­cu­rity rea­sons,” he said at the Ta­man Tun Dr Is­mail po­lice sta­tion.

Jour­nal­ists pressed Khalid for de­tails on how the po­lice made the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, but failed to glean even an iota of in­for­ma­tion from him as he main­tained a stony si­lence.

Fi­nally, Khalid said: “I am not going to say any­thing more... I am just con­firm­ing. We needed to con­firm (the iden­tity of ) the body and we have (done that).”

Asked if po­lice had re­ceived DNA sam­ples from Jong-nam’s next of kin, he de­clined to com­ment, say­ing the case was still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Asked on the next move now that po­lice had made the pos­i­tive iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, Khalid said: “Well, now that we are done with the body, we will hand it over to the Health Min­istry as it has not been claimed. We have in­formed his rel­a­tives, but it seems that no one is claim­ing (the body).”

On when the body would be re­leased to the min­istry, Khalid sim­ply replied: “Any­time.”

Once the body had been handed over to the min­istry, he said, it would be up to it and the For­eign Min­istry to de­cide on the next course of ac­tion.

“The law re­quires us to hand over the body to fam­ily mem­bers, but as no­body has claimed it, it is up to the Health Min­istry.”

Jong-nam’s body has been ly­ing at the Kuala Lumpur Hos­pi­tal mor­tu­ary since Feb 15. How­ever, Pyongyang has never ac­knowl­edged that the re­mains were those of Jong-nam, re­fer­ring to him in­stead as Kim Chol.

To a ques­tion on whether po­lice were any closer to find­ing out who was the mas­ter­mind be­hind the at­tack and the mo­tive, Khalid main­tained that he would not di­vulge any­thing on the probe.

Asked if po­lice would in­ves­ti­gate a video fea­tur­ing a man who claimed to be Kim Han-sol, Jong­nam’s son, he said po­lice were not con­cerned about it.

On the three North Kore­ans wanted for ques­tion­ing, Khalid said none of them had come for­ward to co­op­er­ate with the po­lice yet.

PIC BY AIZUDDIN SAAD

In­spec­tor-Gen­eral of Po­lice Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar at a press con­fer­ence at the Ta­man Tun Dr Is­mail po­lice sta­tion in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day. With him are Bukit Aman man­age­ment di­rec­tor Datuk Seri Zulk­i­fli Ab­dul­lah (left) and Kuala Lumpur po­lice chief Datuk Amar Singh Ishar Singh.

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