Kuala Lumpur, March 2: A North Korean man who was detained in the murder case of Kim Jong-un’s half-brother at the airport will be freed from police custody on Friday, authorities said.
Malaysia’s Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali informed that Ri Jong Chol was “a free man” as there was “insufficient evidence to charge him”.
Ri will be headed to North Korea after his release as he does not have vaild travel documents, CNN quoted Ali as saying on Thursday.
Two Asian women — an Indonesian and a Vietnamese — have been charged with murder of Kim Jong-nam, who police said was killed by smearing VX, a deadly nerve agent, on his face at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13.
Read Full story: Kim Jong-nam killing: Malaysia charges two women with murder
Ri was the only North Korean who was 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 Kim for a TV network.
North Korea strongly denies responsibility, and its state media blamed Seoul and Washington for “resorting to political chicanery to bring down the social system in the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)”.
Also on Thursday, Malaysia terminated the visa-free travel for North Koreans in the view of security reasons.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that the rule would be effective from March 6, Malaysia’s news agency reported.
Earlier, citizens of North Korea and Malaysia were only required to use their passports to enter both the countries.