The high-profile murder case of Kim Jong-nam can be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) though there are limitations to it, according to ICC president Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi.

The first female president of the ICC said the case could not be immediately referred to the court (ICC) as Malaysia is not a state party to the Rome Statute.

"The court is a treaty body, so it can only exercise its functions when crimes are committed in the territory of the state party. In order to be covered by the protection that the court entails, you need to be a party to the treaty," she told a press conference at Parliament building, here, today.

Also present were former Foreign Ministry secretary-general Datuk Noor Farida Mohd Ariffin, Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) secretary-general Dr David Donat-Cattin, and PGA Malaysia National Group secretary M. Kulasegaran.

However, Fernandez said, it was possible for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to refer the case to the ICC although Malaysia is not a state party.

"The United Nations (UN) can also refer situations to the court in accordance with the UN Charter...and that has happened twice already, where the UNSC referred the situations in Darfur and Libya to the court.

"Cases referred to the ICC are entire situations and not a single case, and that it is up to the prosecutors of the court to investigate the situations as well as identify potential cases," she said.

"The ICC can only intervene in certain circumstances and is a court of last resort, whereby it is not intended to replace national tribunals.

"National tribunals are the ones that should in all cases intervene first, but when there is not this possibility for whatever reason, then the court is a backup," she explained.

Earlier, Fernandez was part of a roundtable dicussion with Kulasegaran alongside other members of Parliament and government officials to identify as well as overcome existing obstacles for Malaysia to join the ICC.

During the closed-door discussion, Fernandez delivered a keynote address that highlighted the important role of the aforementioned statute to the ICC in protecting human rights.

Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was murdered at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) on Feb 13 by two women using the highly toxic VX nerve agent.

Jong-nam, who travelled with a passport bearing the name of Kim Chol, died on the way to Putrajaya Hospital.