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  World   Asia  18 Feb 2017  Autopsy on N Korean leader's half-brother inconclusive as 4th suspect held

Autopsy on N Korean leader's half-brother inconclusive as 4th suspect held

Published : Feb 18, 2017, 6:48 pm IST
Updated : Feb 19, 2017, 12:35 pm IST

Malayasia will now perform a second autopsy to ascertain the intricacies of the assassination.

Kim Jong Nam. (Photo: AP)
 Kim Jong Nam. (Photo: AP)

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia performed a second autopsy on the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader because the first procedure was inconclusive, piling on the intrigue surrounding what appeared to be a well-executed assassination at an airport in Kuala Lumpur, an official said on Saturday.

Police arrested a fourth suspect, identified as a North Korean man.

The second autopsy clearly enraged North Korea, which has vowed to reject the results of any post-mortem and demanded that Malaysia give the body immediately.

Speaking to reporters outside the morgue late Friday, Pyongyang's ambassador said Malaysian officials may be "trying to conceal something" and "colluding with hostile forces."

A Malaysian official with knowledge of the investigation confirmed the second autopsy started Friday night and said that the results of the first one were inconclusive. He asked that his name not be used because he is not authorised to speak to the media.

The inconclusive autopsy results raise all sorts of questions about the mysterious death of Kim Jong Nam, but a lack of closure and a lingering sense of the unknown aren't unusual when it comes to North Korea. While South Korea has blamed North Korea for a slew of notable assassinations or attempted killings in past decades, the North often denies involvement or simply doesn't comment.

The death of Kim Jong Nam, the exiled half-brother of North Korea's powerful and mercurial ruler, has unleashed a torrent of speculation, tales of intrigue and explosive, unconfirmed reports from duelling nations.

Malaysia has arrested four people so far, the latest a man carrying an ID that identified him as 46-year-old Ri Jong Chol. He was picked up Friday night.

Authorities were still trying to piece together details of the case.

Kim Jong Nam, who was 45 or 46 and had lived in exile for years, suddenly fell ill at the Kuala Lumpur airport on Monday as he waited for a flight home to Macau.

Dizzy and in pain, he told medical workers at the airport he had been sprayed with a chemical. He died while being taken to a hospital.

South Korea has accused its enemies in North Korea of dispatching a hit squad to kill Kim Jong Nam at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, saying two female assassins poisoned him and then fled in a taxi.

On Friday, Indonesia's police chief said an Indonesian woman arrested for suspected involvement in the killing was duped into thinking she was part of a comedy show prank.

Indonesian police chief Tito Karnavian, citing information received from Malaysian authorities, told reporters in Indonesia's Aceh province that Siti Aisyah, 25, was paid to be involved in "Just For Laughs" style pranks, a reference to a popular hidden camera show.

He said she and another woman performed stunts, which involved convincing men to close their eyes and spraying them with water.

Tags: kim jong nam assasination, kim jong-un, arrest, malayasia