JONG-NAM MURDER GETS MURKIER: AFTER PREVIOUSLY SAYING BODY WILL BE RELEASED TO EMBASSY, ZAHID NOW SPURNS HIGH-LEVEL CALL FROM PYONGYANG

BANGI – North Korea should respect Malaysia’s legal system instead of making its premature request for the release of the body of Kim Jong-nam and their citizen currently in police custody.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi said the requests can only be entertained after all due processes in the justice system have been followed and concluded.

“As what the Prime Minister had said before, our country’s legal system must be respected by all.
“We can entertain (North Korea’s) requests only when all investigation procedures that are being carried out now reach a conclusive ending,” he said this evening, in response to North Korea representative, Ri Tong-il, who made a statement at its embassy in Kuala Lumpur earlier today.

Tong-il, who is the North’s former envoy to the United Nations, held a press conference at the embassy shortly after his arrival, when he told reporters that he and his delegation will negotiate with the Malaysian government the release of Jong-nam’s remains to them, and the freedom of a North Korean man being detained by police in connection with Jong-nam’s assassination.

Zahid said Malaysia does not have a hidden agenda in investigating the murder, and would definitely not collaborate with any foreign entities, as alleged.

When asked about the assassination’s impact on Malaysia’s image, Zahid said he is not worried about that, especially as negative allegations made against the country have come from a nation suspected of being behind the murder plot.

On allegations that two Malaysia-based companies have been engaged in North Korean arms operations, as reported by Reuters yesterday, Zahid said the case will be handled by the Registrar of Companies (ROC).

He said actions will be taken against the companies by the ROC through the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry.

To a question on the assassination plot, Zahid answered that police investigations revealed that the perpetrators had begun their operations two months prior to the murder.

– NST

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