Kim Jong-nam Murder Suspect Says Malaysian Authorities Threatened To Kill His Family

He was deported to North Korea yesterday.

Cover image via Thomas Peter/Reuters via The Guardian

Ri Jong-chol, the North Korean chemist, who was questioned in connection with the murder of Kim Jong-nam, has accused the Malaysian police of threatening to kill his family, saying he was the victim of a conspiracy by the Malaysian authorities

Speaking to reporters outside the North Korea embassy in Beijing on Saturday, 4 March, Ri Jong-chol said that the Malaysian authorities used coercion to try to extract a confession from him

He accused police of presenting him with "fake evidence" and threatening to kill his family who were staying with him in Kuala Lumpur, reported The Telegraph.

"I realised that this is a conspiracy, plot, to try to damage the status and honour of the republic," he said adding that police showed him pictures of his family in detention.

"If I just accept everything, they will make arrangements for a good life in Malaysia."

He also denied being at the airport

Saying that he was not at the airport on the day of the incident, Ri Jong-chol said that he was the only North Korean held in connection with the death.

When questioned about reports of a car discovered near the airport said to be registered in his name, he said he knew nothing about the accusation that his car was used in the case. "It was in my car garage. Malaysian police accepted this too."

The Malaysian authorities had picked him up on 17 February

He has been released because of a lack of evidence to charge him and was handed over to immigration officials for deportation because he didn't have valid travel documents, Deputy PM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

Ri Jong-chol was handed over to Malaysian immigration officials and deported yesterday.

Image via KYODO/AP via BBC

He has been now blacklisted from entering Malaysia

While Malaysia has not directly accused North Korea of being behind the killing, the murder of Kim Jong-nam has soured relations between Malaysia and North Korea, which had maintained friendly ties for decades.

Meanwhile, South Korean intelligence and US officials say the murder was an assassination organised by North Korean agents.

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