April 22, 2018

2 women plead not guilty in N. Korean scion's assassination

04 October 2017, 12:10 | Rufus Hill

The two women 'pawns' facing death penalty over assassination of Kim Jong-un's brother

Trial of 2 women in Jong-Nam’s murder begins tomorrow

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, from Vietnam are charged with murdering Kim Jong-nam, 45, at Kuala Lumpur airport on February 13 by smearing his face with VX, a chemical weapon the United Nations has described as a weapon of mass destruction.

The women say they thought they were playing a harmless prank for a hidden-camera show.

The murder charge under Section 302 of the Penal Code carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

"We are fairly confident that at the end of trial, they will probably be acquitted", Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, a lawyer representing Huong, said on Monday.

The women, both in their 20s, are accused of rubbing toxic VX nerve agent in his face.

The half-brother of Kim Jong Un suffered organ failure after he was attacked with the deadly VX nerve agent at the Kuala Lumpur airport earlier this year.

The hearing before Justice Azmi Ariffin continues Monday afternoon. Witnesses are expected to take the stand in the trial.

North Korea has denied involvement in the killing and argued that Mr. Kim died of a heart attack.

The post mortem report, made available to the media, said that VX was detected on swabs of Kim Jong Nam's eyes and face, in the blood, plasma and urine.

The murder sparked an angry row between Pyongyang, which has been accused of masterminding the killing, and Malaysia, historically one of North Korea's few allies.

The eldest of the Kim siblings, Kim Jong Nam was born to a famous married actress and kept in hiding in case his existence hampered his father's chances of taking over from the country's founder, his grandfather Kim Il Sung.

"His hands were trembling, I was wondering why. He was closing his eyes tightly and his face was also very red", the physician testified.

"His oxygen saturation level improved up to 67% while his blood pressure reading was at 92/70", he said adding that the improvement in his vitals signs eventually saw pulse registering a 19/100 beats per minute.

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong (L) and Indonesian Siti Aishah are seen in this combination picture from undated handouts released by the Royal Malaysia Police to Reuters on February 19, 2017.

"The way the police conducted the investigation in this case is shrouded in mystery", said the lawyer Aisyah, Gooi Soon Seng, accusing the authorities of not cooperating.

According to the New Straits Times, Muhammad Iskandar Ahmad, who leads the prosecution team, said the prosecution will prove that the accused had a common intention to murder the victim, and not to carry out the prank, as claimed.

When asked by the prosecution if the abnormally small pupils were caused by poison, Dr Nik Mohd Adzrul Ariff Raja Azlan said "Yes".

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