North Korean denied bail pending extradition request by US

Ties between Malaysia and North Korea have been strained for the past few years. (AFP pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: A North Korean national was denied bail by the Magistrate’s Court here today pending a request by the US government for his extradition to face charges of money laundering.

Magistrate Noorasyikin Sahat dismissed Mun Chol Myong‘s bid for bail on grounds that there is a high chance of him absconding.

Mun was detained by the Malaysian authorities for 60 days beginning May 14. His detention is scheduled to end on July 22.

The court set July 4 for next mention.

“If the respondent wants to challenge today’s decision, he can file a revision or notice of appeal,” Noorasyikin told Mun’s lawyers, Jagjit Singh and Akberdin Abdul Kadir.

Deputy public prosecutor Faizul Aswad Masri earlier objected to the bail application, saying Mun’s is not a normal criminal case.

“The court cannot simply grant bail as this case involves international matters,” he said.

He added that there are no special circumstances warranting Mun’s release on bail.

However, Jagjit told the court that Mun has a valid passport and has been staying in Malaysia for almost 10 years.

“He is just a layman and not an official from his government,” he said.

Ties between Malaysia and North Korea have been strained since the diplomatic crisis sparked by the 2017 assassination of Kim Jong Nam.

Jong Nam was the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jung Un.