World

North Korean suspect was 'treated well'

KUALA LUMPUR Malaysia's Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has refuted Mr Ri Jong Chol's allegation that authorities threatened to kill his family unless he confessed to the assassination of Mr Kim Jong Nam.

Labelling this as "nonsense", IGP Khalid Abu Bakar said Mr Ri would not have been detained if he was not a person of interest in the murder investigation.

"He was treated the same as any other suspect in the case," he told the Star Online.

IGP Khalid also rubbished Mr Ri's claim that the Malaysian police investigation was a conspiracy against North Korea and a "plot to tarnish his country's honour".

"We followed strict standard operating procedure in a murder investigation. The suspect was treated well," said the country's top cop.

Police had detained Mr Ri, a 47-year-old chemist, on Feb 17, but released and deported him on Friday due to a lack of evidence.

An arrest warrant had been issued for Air Koryo employee Kim Uk Il, 37, to help in the investigation while a letter requesting the cooperation of North Korean Embassy's second secretary, Mr Hyon Kwan Song, has been delivered through official channels, the report said.

In Beijing, AP quoted Mr Ri as saying that he was not at the airport the day Mr Kim was killed, but that the police had accused him of being a mastermind and presented him with "fake evidence".

He said: "These men kept telling me to admit to the crime and if not, my whole family will be killed and 'you, too, won't be safe. If you accept everything, you can live a good life in Malaysia'."

North KoreamalaysiaMurder