Kim Jong-nam death: Women plead not guilty

Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong is escorted with a heavy police presence after a court appearance in March
Credit
AFP

Two women charged with the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's estranged half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, pleaded not guilty in a Malaysian court on Monday, the media reported.

Three other suspects who were at North Korea's embassy were permitted to leave the country after reaching an agreement with Malaysia.

"The act of both women involved in a prank exercise supervised by four people who are still at large shows a common intention and motive between the women and the four individuals in killing the deceased", the prosecutor told the court.

L/Kpl Mohd Zulkarnain is the first witness to testify on the first day of the trial on the high-profile murder of Kim Jong-nam at the High Court here.

Kim Jong Nam was the eldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

Kim Jong Nam, in his mid-40s, had been waiting for a flight to Macau when he died. The North Korean citizen died on the way to the Putrajaya Hospital.

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

Diplomatic relations between North Korea and Malaysia, once somewhat friendly, collapsed as a result of the murder. He was closing his eyes tightly and his face was very red.

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North Korea has denied any role in the killing of Kim and has accused Malaysia of conspiring with its enemies prompting North Korean Ambassador Chol to reject a Malaysian autopsy that found Kim was killed with VX, a banned chemical weapon at the time.

Earlier, in her testimony today, Norashikin said the level of cholinesterase enzyme in Jong Nam's samples were about 15 times lower than the normal enzyme level a man is supposed to have.

Representatives of Doan and Aisyah said the two women were duped into thinking that they were participating in a prank TV show.

Zuliana Idris, who worked as an information clerk at Kuala Lumpur airport, described how Mr Kim asked in English to be taken to a police station.

Kim's pulse, Nik said, was rapid and showing symptoms of seizure. "In this case, after setting aside other factors such as illness or injuries and based on a toxicology report from the chemistry department, there were positive signs of VX nerve agent", said the sixth prosecution witness.

"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.

It's claimed over several days, the North Korean, who went by the name James, had Aisyah go out to malls, hotels and airports and rub oil or pepper sauce on strangers, which he would film on his phone.

Their defence lawyers have also said that Huong and Aisyah are innocent and the real killers have in fact left Malaysia.

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