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Police Visit Hotels Where Alleged Kim Jong Nam Killer Supposedly Stayed


Vietnamese suspect Doan Thi Huong, second from right, in the ongoing assassination investigation, is escorted by police officers out from Sepang court in Sepang, Malaysia on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Appearing calm and solemn, two young women accused of smearing VX nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half brother of North Korea's leader, were charged with murder Wednesday. (AP Photo/Daniel Chan)

Vietnamese suspect Doan Thi Huong, second from right, in the ongoing assassination investigation, is escorted by police officers out from Sepang court in Sepang, Malaysia on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Appearing calm and solemn, two young women accused of smearing VX nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half brother of North Korea's leader, were charged with murder Wednesday. (AP Photo/Daniel Chan)

Doan Thi Huong reportedly spent time in Phnom Penh in January, according to posts on her Facebook account cited in media reports.

Cambodian police have visited two hotels as part of a probe into the death of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, according to hotel staff.

Jong Nam died at Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia on February 13 after apparently being smeared with the VX nerve agent, a chemical listed as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

Doan Thi Huong, from Vietnam, and Siti Aisyah, from Indonesia, were arrested in Malaysia shortly after the attack. They were charged with the murder and could face the death penalty if found guilty.

Both women have said they believed they were participating in a prank for a reality television show.

Huong reportedly spent time in Phnom Penh in January, according to posts on her Facebook account cited in media reports.

Long Panha, a manager at the V Hotel in Phnom Penh, where Huong reportedly stayed, said police officers had visited the hotel in late February and requested records and copies of security camera footage.

Japanese newspaper the Asahi Shimbun reported this week that the alleged killers had rehearsed the attack several times, including in Cambodia.

Em Sopheavuth, a manager at the Okay Boutique Hotel, where Huong also reportedly stayed during a January visit to the capital, said police had also visited that hotel with a warrant, seeking documents and security camera tapes.

“They were with an IT expert. They said they were with the police investigations team,” he said.

It was not immediately clear whether a foreign government had made an official request for an investigation to take place.

Counsellor Norjufri Nizar Edrus of the Malaysian Embassy in Phnom Penh declined to comment as the case was ongoing.

Efforts to reach the Vietnamese and North Korean embassies in Phnom Penh for comment were not successful.

Y Sok Khy, head of the police’s anti-terrorism department, and Kirth Chantharith, police spokesman, could not be reached.

General Khieu Sopheak, interior ministry spokesman, said he was unaware of any request for assistance.

Chum Sounry, foreign ministry spokesman, said while a request may have been made, he had no knowledge of it. “The spokesman of the foreign ministry does not know all information at the ministry,” he said.

U.S. And South Korean officials have said that Jong Nam was assassinated on the orders of Pyongyang. He had lived in exile in the Chinese territory of Macau since falling out of favor with the regime.

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