Kim Jong-nam murder: N.Korean detainee freed

Indo Asian News Service

Kuala Lumpur, March 3 (IANS) A North Korean man who was held in connection with the killing of Kim Jong-un's half-brother Kim Jong-nam, was released on Friday from police custody in Malaysia.

Ri Jong Chol, who left the Sepang Police district headquarters, was being handed over to immigration officials and transported to Kuala Lumpur international airport, Malaysia's National Police Deputy Inspector-General Noor Rashid Ibrahim told CNN.

The only North Korean arrested in connection with the case, Ri appeared to be wearing a bullet-proof vest when he was escorted out of the building by half a dozen police, some of whom covered their faces with balaclavas and carried automatic weapons.

Ri's release comes after Malaysia's Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali on Thursday said that he was "a free man" as there was "insufficient evidence to charge him".

Two Asian women -- an Indonesian and a Vietnamese -- have been charged with the murder, who police said was killed by smearing VX, a deadly nerve agent, on Kim Jong-nam's face at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13, CNN reported.

Ri was the only North Korean to have been detained in the case. Investigators have also named four North Korean suspects, who are believed to have fled to Pyongyang.

South Korea has pinned Kim's assassination on Pyongyang, accusing the country of recruiting the women attackers, who said they believed they were bade only to run a prank on the victim for a TV network.

--IANS

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