Zahid con­firms Jong-nam’s body was em­balmed

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi has con­firmed that the body of de­ceased North Korean cit­i­zen Kim Jong-nam, who was mur­dered here last month, has been em­balmed.

The home min­is­ter said the body, which had been kept at the Kuala Lumpur Hospi­tal mor­tu­ary for a month, was taken out for the pro­ce­dure.

“Yes (it is true). It is an ef­fort to pre­serve the body. If the body is kept at the mor­tu­ary (for too long), the body might de­com­pose,” he told re­porters at the Par­lia­ment lobby here yes­ter­day.

Zahid’s state­ment con­firmed the New Straits Times’ ex­clu­sive front-page re­port that the au­thor­i­ties had de­cided to pre­serve the body of the 45-year-old to pre­vent fur­ther de­com­po­si­tion.

Jong-nam’s re­mains were brought to Kuala Lumpur Hospi­tal on Feb 15.

He died in an am­bu­lance while be­ing taken to Pu­tra­jaya Hospi­tal fol­low­ing a chem­i­cal at­tack at klia2 on the morn­ing of Feb 13.

Sun­day night would be the first time from that day that his body had been taken out of the hospi­tal.

His body was driven out from the hospi­tal at about 7.30pm. By 10.30pm, it was back at the mor­tu­ary for safe­keep­ing.

It was re­ported that a Kuala Lumpur Hospi­tal hearse car­ry­ing Jong-nam’s body trav­elled to a pri­vate fa­cil­ity of­fer­ing the em­balm­ing ser­vice.

It was un­der­stood that this was a bet­ter op­tion, con­sid­er­ing the other body-preser­va­tion meth­ods for ca­dav­ers, of­fered by gov­ern­ment agen­cies, would in­volve soak­ing the body in formalde­hyde.

The NST had learnt that the pro­ce­dure would have cost some­thing in the re­gion of RM20,000. It could not be es­tab­lished who set­tled the bill.

PIC EPA

A for­eign jour­nal­ist read­ing the lat­est ex­clu­sive on the Jong-nam case in yes­ter­day’s edi­tion of the ‘New Straits Times’. The news­pa­per has been among the sources of ref­er­ence for cov­er­age on the high­pro­file mur­der.

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