Indonesian woman and her boyfriend held over assassination

KUALA LUMPUR: The second woman arrested in connection with the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam has been identified as Indonesian national Siti Aishah.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said in a statement that the woman with the Indonesian passport was arrested at 2am on Thursday.

“Based on her passport, she is from Serang in Indonesia. She was identified through CCTV footage at the airport and was alone at the time of arrest,” he said.

Serang is the capital of Banten, a province that neighbours the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. The date of birth in the passport was listed as Feb 11, 1992.

Indonesia’s foreign ministry has confirmed that the woman is from their country and its officials have requested consular access to her.

The ministry said in a statement that it concluded the woman is indeed Indonesian based on data provided by Malaysian authorities as well as the Indonesian Embassy in Malaysia.

“Following that verification, the embassy has requested consular access to the Government of Malaysia to provide assistance in order to ensure her legal rights,” the statement said.

Indonesian news portal published a photo in the identification page of an Indonesian passport belonging to a Siti Aisyah that differed from the details released by Malaysian police, but only in the spelling of the name Aishah.

Selangor police chief Comm Datuk Seri Abdul Samah Mat also confirmed that Siti Aishah along with the first suspect, who holds a Vietnamese passport identifying her as Doan Thi Huong, 28, have been remanded for seven days pending investigation.

Malaysian police have now arrested two women suspected to be involved in the death of Jong-nam, who was reportedly poisoned this week by a pair of female assassins as he waited for a flight in Malaysia.

A third suspect in custody, a Malaysian, is said to be Siti Aishah’s boyfriend.

Vietnamese authorities are also in touch with their Malaysian counterparts over the other arrested woman.

So far, Vietnam is not confirming that the woman is a citizen of their country.

However, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s deputy spokesman Nguyen Phuong Tra has said in a statement that Vietnam strongly condemns criminal acts and is willing to co-operate with other countries in preventing and fighting crimes.

She said that regarding the case that just happened in Malaysia, Vietnamese authorities are closely coordinating with the Malaysian side to make related information as clear as possible.

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