DPM CONFIRMS DNA SAM­PLE WAS FROM SON

How­ever, Zahid de­clined to elab­o­rate on where and when it was col­lected

New Straits Times - - News -

ADRIAN LAI

AND HARIZ MOHD KUALA LUMPUR news@nst.com.my

DEPUTY Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi yesterday con­firmed that the iden­tity of Kim Jong-nam was ver­i­fied us­ing a DNA sam­ple taken from his son.

He said the au­thor­i­ties had trav­elled over­seas to an undis­closed coun­try to col­lect the DNA sam­ple, but de­clined to re­veal the lo­ca­tion nor when the trip was made.

“The DNA sam­ple was taken from his (Jong-nam’s) son, who is over­seas.

“I can­not re­veal (where). We went there. I can­not re­veal de­tails,” Zahid said at the Par­lia­ment lobby here yesterday.

This came af­ter Zahid on We dnes­day said Jong-nam’s iden­tity had been con­firmed based on DNA sam­ple com­par­isons with one of the de­ceased’s chil­dren.

It is un­known whether the DNA sam­ple was taken from Kim Han-sol, who was ini­tially thought to have trav­elled to Malaysia to pro­vide his DNA sam­ple and iden­tify Jong­nam’s body.

Zahid also said the gov­ern­ment would seek the at­tor­ney-gen­eral’s ad­vice on how to man­age Jong-nam’s body, af­ter the de­ceased’s fam­ily ex­pressed its wish for the Malaysian gov- ern­ment to take care of his re­mains.

“I will check the ap­proval doc­u­ment that was given by the next of kin to Malaysia through the For­eign Min­istry.

“Po­lice will make a de­ci­sion based on t h e r e q u e s t b ecause the North Korean em­bassy (here) can­not ask for the body to be brought back (to North Korea) un­less al­lowed by the next of kin.”

On a re­lated mat­ter, Zahid echoed Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak’s ear­lier state­ment that ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween Malaysia and North Korea to se­cure the re­lease of nine Malaysians in the reclu­sive state were on­go­ing.

“Dis­cus­sions be­gan last Mon-

Po­lice will make a de­ci­sion based on the re­quest be­cause the North Korean em­bassy (here) can­not ask for the body to be brought back (to North Korea) un­less al­lowed by the next of kin.

DATUK SERI DR AH­MAD ZAHID HAMIDI

Deputy prime min­is­ter

elab­o­rate on the Jong-nam case as it was still on­go­ing.

He re­it­er­ated his ear­lier state­ments that po­lice had handed over Jong-nam’s body to the Health Min­istry. day and are on­go­ing at the of­fi­cers’ level.

“We haven’t con­cluded the ne­go­ti­a­tions and we will con­duct high-level meet­ings soon.”

Zahid, how­ever, de­clined to say when the high-level meet­ings would be­gin, say­ing they were sub­ject to the rec­om­men­da­tions made at the of­fi­cers’ level.

In Shah Alam, Deputy In­spec­tor-Gen­eral of Po­lice Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim said the de­ci­sion on the next course of ac­tion on the han­dling of Jong­nam’s re­mains was be­ing dis­cussed with the fam­ily.

“From what I un­der­stand,

“We will leave it to the Health Min­istry as well as the For­eign Min­istry to deal with the body.”

Diplo­matic ties be­tween Kuala Lumpur and Py­ongyang were tested over the killing of Jong- Jong-nam’s fam­ily wants our gov­ern­ment to man­age the re­mains.

“They have given their con­sent. Po­lice have sur­ren­dered cus­tody of the body to the Health Min­istry and it is now up to the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to de­cide,” he said af­ter launch­ing a sem­i­nar at Ke­lab Shah Alam here yesterday.

The New Straits Times was in­formed that the process to get the DNA sam­ple in­volved gov­ern­ment-to-gov­ern­ment ar­range­ments, but sources de­clined to re­veal which coun­try the fam­ily mem­ber was at, cit­ing that the in­for­ma­tion was clas­si­fied. nam last month.

The in­ci­dent sparked a diplo­matic stand-off, as both coun­tries slapped travel bans on each other’s cit­i­zens and ex­pelled the other’s am­bas­sadors.

IS­MAIL PIC FARIZ ISWADI

In­spec­tor-Gen­eral of Po­lice Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar is swarmed by jour­nal­ists fol­low­ing the clos­ing cer­e­mony of the 2017 In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Ro­hingya in Pu­tra­jaya yesterday.

ANUAR PIC BY FAIZ

Deputy In­spec­tor-Gen­eral of Po­lice Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim (left) at a press con­fer­ence in Shah Alam yesterday.

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