N.Korean embassy counsellor Kim Yu Song (L) walks with Jagjit Singh (R), lawyer to Mun Chol Myong at the Session Court in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. Mohd Rasfan/ AFP
A North Korean man is likely to face money-laundering charges in the United States after a Malaysian court approved his extradition on Friday, in a case his lawyers claim is politically motivated.
Mun Chol Myong has denied FBI claims that he led a criminal group that violated sanctions by supplying luxury goods to his isolated homeland and laundered funds through front companies.
The 54-year-old, who has lived in Malaysia with his family for a decade, was arrested in May following an extradition request from Washington.
His defence team claims he was involved only in the supply of palm oil and soybean oil to the North.
“I am sad and disappointed with the court action,” said his lawyer Jagjit Singh, who previously criticised the extradition bid as “solely based on politics.”
Jagjit said his client would not be deported before a final appeal, likely to be heard early next year.
Mun has been in custody since his arrest.
He is accused of four charges of money-laundering and two of conspiracy to launder money, mainly in relation to his work for a firm in neighbouring Singapore.
His case has shone a spotlight on trade ties between Pyongyang and Singapore, with several companies in the city charged in recent times over shipping banned goods to the North.
The export to the North of some goods, including luxury items, has been banned as part of sweeping sanctions imposed on Pyongyang by the United Nations and countries including the US over its weapons programme.
Last month, a Singapore court jailed the director of a trading firm for nearly three years for supplying $4.4 million worth of goods — ranging from alcohol to cosmetics and watches — to the North.
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry called the man’s charges an “absurd fabrication and sheer plot” orchestrated by the US, which is “the principal enemy of our state” where the man was eventually extradited.
A North Korean man launched a legal challenge on Friday against a US bid to extradite him from Malaysia over allegations he supplied goods to his country in breach of sanctions.
A Vietnamese woman accused of killing the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will walk free on May 3, her lawyer said on Saturday.
A Vietnamese woman accused of assassinating the North Korean leader's half-brother was sentenced to three years and four months in jail after accepting a lesser charge on Monday and will likely be freed in May, her lawyer said.
The new decrees include Decree No. (31) of 2021 on the Board of Trustees of British University in Dubai; Decree No.(29) of 2021 on the Board of Directors of Dubai Cares; Decree No.(28) on the Board of Directors of Dubai Women Establishment; and Decree No.(30) on the Board of Directors of Watani Al Emarat Foundation.
The country’s recovery rate is 97.36 per cent. However, the active cases constitute 1.30 per cent of the total cases and the active caseload has crossed 400,000-mark again and currently stands at 410,952.
The country has been in turmoil since the army ousted the civilian leader in February, launching a bloody crackdown on dissent that has killed more than 900 people according to a local monitoring group.