June 13 (UPI) -- A U.S. citizen who is being held in North Korea on charges of "hostile acts" against the Kim Jong Un regime may actually have faced different charges at the time of his arrest, according to an eyewitness.
James Leigh, a Canadian visitor to North Korea, told Radio Free Asia he was in the same detention room as Tony Kim, aka Kim Sang Duk, who was detained April 22.
Leigh and Kim may not have seen each other, as a room divider separated the two men, but Leigh said he heard North Korean security agents accuse "Professor Kim" of spreading "a pro-West curriculum" at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, a school that opened in 2010 as the first privately funded institution in North Korea.
The North Korean side claimed they were detaining him because he had been teaching unauthorized material and engaging in inappropriate activities, Leigh told RFA.
The statement from Leigh contradicts the more serious claim North Korea made in May.
"During his time in our country, U.S. citizen Kim Sang Duk attempted to overthrow the state, a hostile crime. According to our laws, he was arrested at Pyongyang International Airport at 8 a.m., April 22," KCNA stated in May, while providing no further information on his actions.
Leigh said he was detained in the room at Pyongyang's Sunan Airport for four days on charges of spying on North Korea military facilities. Leigh also said North Korea security claimed he was spying on behalf of U.S. President Donald Trump, and that he had been sent to assassinate Kim Jong Un.
Leigh was eventually released while Kim remained in the country.
The witness also said North Korea authorities did not use force against him, but were tough.
During his detention, Leigh said he was provided with one meal a day, and slept on a blanket on the floor.
North Korea released another hostage, Otto Warmbier, after 17 months of captivity on Tuesday.
There are now three U.S. citizens being held in the country.