House suspected to have been used as illegal lab raided

SHAH ALAM: The house of a suspect in the North Korean leader’s half-brother Kim Chol or Kim Jong-nam’s murder case was raided after it was suspected to have been used as an illegal laboratory to produce the lethal VX nerve agent, the High Court was told yesterday.

Senior investigation officer from the Sepang/KLIA Police headquarters, ASP Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz said during the raid on the house of the North Korean national,  Ri Jong-chol, located at the Dynasty Garden Condominium, Jalan Kuchai, here, police also seized bottles containing chemical formula, chloride and also gloves.

Also seized were four mobile phones with SIM cards, two tablets, two laptop computers, one desktop computer, toothbrushes and cash of AS$38,000 (RM160,626), he said.

The ninth prosecution witness said all the electronic items were sent to the Police Forensic Department in Cheras for analysis.

Ri Jong is a science graduate specialising in chemistry and also the owner of the Naza Ria multi-purpose vehicle used to transport the three North Korean suspects from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) to the KLIA after Kim Chol was attacked with the VX nerve agent.

Wan Azirul Nizam said this during cross examination by counsel Gooi Soon Seng on the 15th day of the trial of Siti

Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, who were charged, together with four men still at large, with killing Kim Chol, 45, at the klia2 departure hall at 9 am on Feb 13.

Gooi: How did you investigate the existence of VX at Ri Jong’s house?   Wan Azirul Nizam: I investigated it by sending the seized case exhibits to the Chemistry Department for analysis.

Gooi: Did you seize Ri Jong’s clothes or take his nail samples to detect the VX? “Police did not seize any clothes or take nail samples from the suspect to detect the toxic nerve agent, which was said to be the cause of Kim Chol’s death, as there was no requirement to do so,” the witness said.

Wan Azirul Nizam said four mobile phones belonging to Ri Jong were also handed over to him during the deportation process upon instruction from the Selangor deputy public prosecutor.

On Gooi’s suggestion that once deported to North Korea, it would be impossible to get the individual to testify as a witness in the case, the investigation officer said: “There is a possibility, but I did not get any instruction to bring him back to be subpoenaed as a witness.”  Meanwhile, Wan Azirul Nizam said Ri Jong was detained for two weeks from Feb 17 to facilitate the investigation into the high-profile murder case.

He said police had also recorded the suspect’s statement under Section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code before he was deported on March 3.

When asked whether he agreed that Ri Jong was among the main suspects in the murder case, the witness said no.

The trial before Judge Datuk Azmi Ariffin continues Monday. — Bernama

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