The Latest: Malaysia deports N.Korean detained in Kim murder

AP News
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Posted: Mar 03, 2017 7:57 AM
The Latest: Malaysia deports N.Korean detained in Kim murder

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The Latest on the investigation into the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half brother of North Korea's leader, in Malaysia (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

Malaysian officials say they have deported a North Korean man who was released from custody after police found insufficient evidence to charge him in the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the half brother of North Korea's leader.

Ri Jong Chol was detained four days after Kim was killed at a Malaysian airport. Police didn't say what they thought his role in the killing might have been. They said Ri would be deported because he had no valid travel document.

Immigration Director-General Mustafar Ali said Ri left on a flight from Malaysia, escorted by two North Korean Embassy officials, and that he is blacklisted from re-entering the country.

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4:25 p.m.

Malaysian police say an arrest warrant has been issued for a North Korean airline employee accused in the fatal poisoning of the half brother of North Korea's leader.

National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said Friday that the warrant was issued for 37-year-old Kim Uk Il, who works for Air Koryo, North Korea's national carrier. Police say he arrived in Malaysia Jan. 29, about two weeks before Kim Jong Nam was attacked with the nerve agent VX in a Kuala Lumpur airport terminal.

Malaysian authorities have not said why they want to question Kim Uk Il. Earlier Friday they released another North Korean, citing of a lack of evidence. Police have said they believe Kim Uk Il is still in Malaysia.

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11 a.m.

A North Korean man, who had been held for questioning in the murder of exiled half-brother of North Korea's leader, has been released from police custody and handed over to the immigration officials to be deported.

Ri Jong Chol, 46, was detained Feb 17, four days after the exiled half-brother of North Korea's leader was poisoned at Malaysia's main airport.

National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed Friday that Ri has been released, saying there was a lack of evidence to charge him. Ri will be deported as he does not have any valid travel documents.

Immigration officials couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

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10 a.m.

The family of Vietnamese woman charged with murder in the killing of the half brother of North Korea's ruler wants government help getting lawyers to defend her.

Doan Van Thanh, the father of Doan Thi Huong, said he met with Foreign Ministry representatives and requested their help in hiring the lawyers.

Huong together with an Indonesian woman were captured in surveillance video at the Kuala Lumpur airport where Kim Yong Nam was fatally poisoned on Feb. 13. They have been charged with murder, and Malaysia has appointed a Malaysian lawyer to defend Huong.

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8:30 a.m.

Malaysia's Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it is concerned about the use of a toxic chemical listed as a banned weapon that was used to kill a North Korean at Kuala Lumpur's airport on Feb. 13.

"Its use at a public place could have endangered the general public," it said. Malaysia says the dead man is Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half brother of North Korea's ruler.

Two women accused of smearing VX nerve agent on Kim's face as he waited for a flight at Kuala Lumpur's airport have been charged with murder.