Indonesian diplomats meets woman arrested over Kim Jong-nam’s murder

Feb 17, 2017
This photo from Indonesian news portal Kumparan obtained on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 shows the portrait on the passport of Siti Aisyah, 25, an Indonesian woman suspected to be involved in the killing of the North Korean leader's half brother.
Siti Aisyah, 25, originally from Serang in Banten, a province that neighbours the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, was arrested by Malaysian police in the wee hours on Feb 16 in connection with the murder of Kim Jong-nam (AP pic).

Indonesian diplomats have met with a woman arrested in Malaysia for suspected involvement in the killing of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and confirmed she is an Indonesian citizen, officials said on Thursday, Feb 16.

AP reported, authorities have identified her as Siti Aisyah, 25, originally from Serang in Banten, a province that neighbours the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

She was arrested by Malaysian police in the wee hours on Feb 16.

Indonesian Immigration Office spokesman Agung Sampurno said that officials from the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur met with the woman in Selangor, where she is being detained and ensured she was safe.

“They were allowed to see her but could not ask any questions,” said Sampurno.

“However, the team can confirm that Aisyah is Indonesian.” He said a passport ID page published by Indonesian media is “the same as the passport held by her.”

Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, director of Indonesian Citizen Protection at the Foreign Ministry, said Indonesia would ensure Aisyah’s rights are protected and that she has legal assistance.

Kumparan, an Indonesian news portal, said Aisyah lived in the Tambora neighbourhood in western Jakarta for about 10 years before moving to Malaysia in 2013 along with her husband and children.

It cited interviews with former neighbours and said she had returned to Indonesia in 2014 to arrange a divorce.

Sampurno said immigration data showed that Aisyah had visited Indonesia earlier this year and returned by ferry to Johor, Malaysia, from the nearby Indonesian island of Batam on Feb. 2.

Several million Indonesians work in Malaysia as maids and construction and plantation workers.

Investigators in Malaysia are trying to shed light on the death of Kim, which has set offset off waves of speculation over whether North Korea dispatched a hit squad to kill him.

Malaysian police have now arrested two women and one man in the death of Kim Jong-nam, who was reportedly poisoned on Monday by a pair of female assassins as he waited for a flight at the Kuala Lumpur airport.

Malaysian police said the first woman they arrested had Vietnamese travel documents.

Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Tra said in a statement that Vietnamese authorities are closely coordinating with Malaysia on the case. – AP