N. Korean suspect in Jong-Nam case could still be in M'sia

SHAH ALAM: North Korean suspect Ri Ji U (pix), 30, also known as James could still be in the country, the High Court learnt, today.

Investigating officer from the Sepang district police headquarters, ASP Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz admitted that Ji U's name was not on the list of nine names contained in the letter by KLIA Immigration Department's enforcement division head.

Wan Azirul Nizam confirmed that the letter dated Feb 23, which details the movement of the suspects in and out of the country, contained nine names including suspects Siti Aisyah, 25, Doan Thi Huong, 29, Hong Song Hak, 34, Ri Ji Hyon, 33, Ri Jae Nam, 57, and O Jong Gil, 55, Kim Uk-iL,37, Hyong Kwang Song, 44 and Ri Jong Chol, 46.

Cross-examined by defence counsel Gooi Soon Seng, he also clarified that Jong Gil was not actually James, but Ji Yu instead.

To a question by Gooi, Wan Azirul Nizam said he was also unable to determine whether Ji Yu had left the country on Jan 17 onboard MAS flight 763 from Kuala Lumpur to Phnom Penh and returned to the capital on Jan 21.

He also confirmed to Gooi that Siti's handphone had contained at least a photo of Ji Yu which was taken at KLCC by her.

Meanwhile, Wan Azirul Nizam confirmed that another North Korean suspect Ri Jong Chol who had been deported from the country on March 3, was staying at the Dynasty Garden Condominium in Kuchai Entrepreneurial Park since May 23, 2015.

Following investigations, Wan Azirul also determined that the unit belonged to Choo Chae Kheong.

Choo, he said told him that Jong Chol had been renting the unit since May 19, 2015, paying RM1,700 rent by cash consistently when contacted by Jong Chol between the 20th to 23rd of each month.

To Gooi's question on Jong Chol's source of US$38,000 (RM160,500) found in his possession, Wan Azirul said Jong Chol in his statement during questioning said the monies were given to him by a North Korean named Kim Chun Hui and three others he was unable to recall in October 2016 to buy soft noodles (mi lembut) to be sent back to North Korea.

He also confirmed that Jong Chol had been driving a Peugeot owned by the North Korean embassy with the registration number 28-63-DC, from end of October 2015 until he was detained.

Wan Azirul Nizam confirmed that Jong Chol's employer from Tombo Enterprise, managing director Chong Ah Kow had testified that Jong Chol was a product development manager at the IT department but it was only on paper for visa application purposes.

Wan Azirul Nizam also confirmed that Jong Chol never worked there following Chong's statement to him.

High Court judge Datuk Azmi Ariffin then ordered Wan Azirul Nizam to present the forensics report on items seized from Jong Chol's residence when he was arrested on Feb 17.

The trial resumes tomorrow.