Envoy: Suspect claimed she was paid RM400 by Korean-looking man

The Indonesian woman arrested for allegedly assassinating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s estranged half-brother Kim Jong-nam, claimed that she was paid RM400 to smear his face with ‘baby oil’ as part of a reality show prank.

She told this to Indonesia’s acting ambassador to Malaysia Andreano Erwin during her meeting with him at the Cyberjaya Police Station today.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Andreano said that the suspect mentioned that she was approached for the job by several “Japanese- and Korean-looking men”, one of whom told her to do the job.

“She did not specifically say it. She only said she was introduced to some men who looked generally like Japanese or Korean. But she did not explain in detail where,” he said.

Adreano related that the Indonesian suspect said that the person whom she only knew as James or Chang paid her RM400 and asked her to smear Jong-nam’s face with the liquid which she claimed she did not know was hazardous.

According to Adreano, the suspect did not say if she later knew in KLIA2, that the substance was toxic during their 30-minute meeting with police officers in attendance.

“She didn’t tell us. She only said she was given an oily liquid, like baby oil,” related the acting ambassador.

He related that the suspect said she was told by the man who hired her that this was purportedly for a reality television show prank.

Asked if the suspect exhibited any signs of poisoning, Adreano said that she seemed in general, to be physically well and was able to talk to him without any problem, though he said he did not look for specific symptoms of poisoning.

However he said that she may be suffering from emotional stress, but cannot comment until she is evaluated psychologically.

Andreano also said that they have also collected the suspect’s fingerprints to verify her identity, and will schedule another meeting with her probably after her 14-day detention is over.

The acting ambassador said that they will now await further developments from police and the prosecution and will take it from there.

Asked if the embassy will facilitate visits by the suspect’s family, he said that the suspect said that she would rather her family not see her in her current condition, especially her parents, only wishing them to remain calm and take care of their health.

Jong-nam was killed after he was smeared with a toxic substance that police have identified as nerve agent VX in KLIA2 on Feb 14. The Indonesian suspect and another female, said to be Vietnamese, were arrested after they were identified from close circuit television footage of the incident.

A North Korean national living in Malaysia was also arrested over Jong-nam’s killing, with four more suspects believed to have have fled Malaysia, and another two said to be still at the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

The Indonesian government had formally requested to meet the Indonesian suspect after news of her arrest. – Malaysiakini

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