IGP mum on identification process to protect witnesses
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.
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.