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Suspect in North Korea killing ‘thought she was taking part in TV prank’

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, duped and ‘not aware it was assassination attempt by alleged foreign agents’, says head of police

An Indonesian woman arrested for suspected involvement in the killing of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s half-brother in Malaysia was duped into thinking she was part of a comedy show prank, Indonesia’s national police chief has said, citing information received from Malaysian authorities.

Tito Karnavian told reporters in Indonesia’s Aceh province that Siti Aisyah, 25, was paid to be involved in pranks.

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

“Such an action was done three or four times and they were given a few dollars for it, and with the last target, Kim Jong-nam, allegedly there were dangerous materials in the sprayer,” Karnavian said. “She was not aware that it was an assassination attempt by alleged foreign agents.”

Siti’s family has said they were shocked to hear of her involvement in the case, describing her as a struggling mother who had travelled to Malaysia for work. Her 26-year-old Malaysian boyfriend was also arrested by police late on Thursday. Police are hunting for other accomplices.

Authorities are investigating whether Siti and another female suspect killed the 46-year-old North Korean exile in a shopping concourse at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport on Monday.

Karnavian’s intervention, based on information that has not been independently verified, came as a diplomatic row developed between Malaysia and North Korea over the fate of Kim’s body, and as details emerged about the movements of the second female suspect detained over his apparent assassination.

Late on Friday, North Korea’s ambassador in Malaysia said that it would reject the results of a post mortem and demanded the body be released immediately.

“The Malaysian side forced the post mortem without our permission and witnessing, we will categorically reject the result of the post mortem conducted unilaterally excluding our attendance,” Kang Chol said in a statement.

Kang said that Malaysian police were being pressured by hostile forces, notably South Korea, and the autopsy was a violation of human rights.

Source: The Guardian

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