Two Malaysian women plead not guilty to assassination

Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong (L), 28, with Indonesian national Siti Aisyah, 25, accused of murdering Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

The defendants, who face death by hanging if convicted, say they were duped into believing they were taking part in a prank for a reality TV show.

Under section 302 of the Malaysian criminal code, a guilty verdict carries a mandatory death sentence.

"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.

Witnesses told a court how the half-brother of North Korea's dictator staggered and blundered after being poisoned by a deadly nerve agent in Malaysia's global airport, at the trial of the women accused of assassinating him. A North Korean official later claimed that Kim Jong-nam had likely died of a heart attack and not poisoning.


"The patient was stabilised but we needed to transfer him to a hospital with an ICU (intensive care unit)", he testified before High Court Judge Datuk Azmi Ariffin.

A total of 153 witnesses will be called during the trial, which is closely followed by both local and worldwide media.

"The prank practice carried out by the first and second accused with the supervision of the four who are still at large was preparation to see through their common intention to kill the victim", stated the prosecution's charge sheet.

Mr. Kim sought help after the attack but died minutes later.

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.


Kim Jong Nam was the eldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. Kim Jong Nam was transported to a nearby clinic.

"I saw there was some liquid on his face and his eyes were a little red", he said. He had been living overseas for years and at the time of his death was traveling on a North Korean diplomatic passport under the name "Kim Chol", the name being used in court.

"His enzyme level was 344 units per litre while Siti and Doan were 6,781 and 7,163 units per litre respectively", she said, adding that the women's enzyme levels were at normal levels. Malaysian police had said earlier that the four men had escaped on the day of the murder and returned to North Korea.

Chemical pathologist Dr Norashikin Othman said VX nerve agent may not be the only reason why there is a low amount of enzyme in a person's blood.

Kim's pulse, Nik said, was rapid and showing symptoms of seizure.



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