Third person detained in connection with Kim Jong-nam murder, Malaysian police say
Police arrested the boyfriend of one of two women said to have struck on Monday as Kim Jong-nam was about to board a flight to Macau
Three people have now been arrested in connection with the apparent assassination of the half-brother of North Korea’s leader, with a Malaysian man being held to “assist” in the investigation, police said.
The man, 26-year-old Muhammad Farid bin Jalaluddin, has been identified as the boyfriend of an Indonesian woman arrested early on Thursday, suspected of being one of the two women who carried out the brazen attack this week on Kim Jong-nam, the older half-brother of Kim Jong-un.
“Suspect is currently remanded in custody to assist investigation,” Khalid Abu Bakar, the inspector-general of police, said.
Kim Jong-nam, 45, was attacked by two women at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Monday as he went to check in for a flight to Macau, his main base since he went into exile about 15 years ago. They grabbed him and sprayed some poison in his face.
He sought medical help at the airport but died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Two women were captured on surveillance video leaving the scene by taxi, sparking a nationwide hunt for them.
One woman, who was travelling on a Vietnamese passport that identified her as 29-year-old Doan Thi Huong, was arrested on Wednesday as she tried to fly out of Kuala Lumpur. She told police she was tricked into attacking Kim, saying she thought she was just playing a prank on the man, The Star newspaper reported.
She also said she was abandoned by the other woman and four men who were involved in the attack. They had all been staying at a hotel nearby, she told police, and when they left her, she decided to fly to Vietnam.
A second woman, identified as Siti Aishah, a 25-year-old Indonesian, was arrested early yesterday.
“She was also positively identified from the CCTV footage at the airport,” Abu Bakar said.
Indonesian Immigration Office spokesman Agung Sampurno said officials from the embassy met the woman and confirmed she was Indonesian. “They were allowed to see her but cannot make any questions,” he said.
Kumparan, an Indonesian news portal, said Aishah lived in Tambora, Jakarta for about 10 years before moving to Malaysia in 2013 with her family.
An autopsy was finished but the cause of death is not known.
A North Korean man driving a car with North Korean diplomatic plates refused to answer a questions when he drove into the embassy in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Staff removed the buzzer from the gate to stop journalists ringing it.
Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Kim’s body would be sent to North Korea but there were still “procedures to be followed”.
Additional reporting by Associated Press