JAKARTA: Indonesia and Vietnam have urged Malaysia to allow consular access to their citizens being detained in connection with the alleged assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The matter was discussed on Monday (Feb 20) as the foreign ministers of the three countries met on the sidelines of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Boracay, Philippines.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said that its minister Retno Marsudi had reminded her Malaysian counterpart Anifah Aman that consular access has to be given quickly as required by the Vienna Convention.
Ms Retno said consular access to the suspect is still needed, even though embassy staff and lawyers had met with Malaysian investigators and received information about the condition of the Indonesian citizen. Consular access can also help facilitate communication between investigators and Ms Siti, added the Indonesian Foreign Minister.
Siti Aisyah, 25, is one of two women who is accused of intercepting Kim Jong Nam last Monday as he was preparing to board a flight at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2. A deadly chemical was allegedly sprayed on him but a week after the incident, Malaysian authorities have still been unable to determine the cause of death.
The other woman being detained is Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong.
Mr Anifah said the investigation is still being carried out and that authorities have yet to gather enough information from the two women.
He added that under Malaysian law, as long as the investigation process is ongoing, suspects cannot meet other people apart from the investigators.
Mr Anifah will, however, coordinate with the police to ensure consular access be given as soon as possible.