KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A North Korean man failed Thursday in a court bid in Malaysia to challenge his potential extradition to the United States to face money laundering charges, but he immediately appealed to the country’s top court.
Defense counsel Gooi Soon Seng said the High Court ruled that prosecutors had followed procedures and rejected Mun Chol Myong’s assertion that the U.S. charge was politically motivated.
Mun, who is in his 50s, has lived in Malaysia for a decade and was arrested in May 2019 after U.S. authorities requested his extradition. Malaysia’s government approved the extradition, but Mun has challenged the U.S. bid.
In his affidavit, Mun denied U.S. accusations that he was involved in supplying prohibited luxury goods from Singapore to North Korea in violation of U.N. sanctions while working in the city-state before moving to Malaysia in 2008.
Mun denied he laundered funds through front companies and issued fraudulent documents to support illicit shipments to his country. He said in his affidavit that he was the victim of a “politically motivated” extradition request aimed at pressuring his country over its missile program.
Gooi said the judge refused to consider Mun’s affidavit as it was not a trial, a move which he said deprived his client of justice.
“We have filed an appeal to the Federal Court. This offence involves sanctions, and sanctions involve political character,” he said.
Mun was not in court but his wife, daughter and a North Korean embassy official were at the hearing, Gooi said.