Women Accused of Killing North Korean Leader's Brother Plead Not Guilty

Aaron Brown
October 3, 2017

The two women accused in the killing of Kim Jong-nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half brother, have pleaded not guilty in a Malaysian court on Monday morning, according to media reports.

Footage from the airport security cameras showed the two women, 25-year-old Indonesian citizen Siti Aisyah and 28-year-old Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam, smearing his face with VX, which the United Nations describes as a weapon of mass destruction.

The trial heard dramatic testimony from a doctor who described the agonising final moments of Kim Jong-Nam's life after he was attacked with a deadly nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur airport.

Doan and Siti - both wearing bullet-proof vests - were seen getting out of a police vehicle before they made their way into the courthouse.

Journalists wait to enter the Shah Alam High Court, where Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong are on trial for the killing of Kim, on Oct 2, 2017.

The murder charge was read to them in their native languages and interpreters assigned to the defendants indicated they were pleading not guilty.

The trial is expected to continue until the end of November.

However, both women have said they thought they were playing a harmless prank for a hidden-camera show, with Aisyah saying she was paid £73 to do it.

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Malaysian police had said earlier that the four men had escaped on the day of the murder and returned to North Korea.

Some North Korean figures suspected of links to the plot fled Malaysia immediately after the assassination, while others were allowed to leave the country later to ease the diplomatic crisis. "The charge states that my client has common intention with four others.The defence needs the names for the goal of our defence", he said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is believed to have considered his older sibling a potential rival for power.

He said evidence also showed that after the chemical was wiped on to the victim's face, the victim rushed to the officer on duty at the customer service counter to lodge a complaint before he was brought to a clinic at the airport.

From the beginning of the case, South Korea has accused the North of having orchestrated the assassination, what Pyongyang has always denied.

Before the trial began, Aisyah's lawyer Gooi Soon Seng said the core defence will be that she didn't know she had poison on her hand when she smeared Kim's face and was instead the victim of an elaborate trick, Japan Times reported (via the Associated Press).

Diplomatic relations between North Korea and Malaysia, once somewhat friendly, collapsed as a result of the murder.

Prosecutors - who insist the women will get a fair trial - will lay out their case over two months and call 30 to 40 witnesses.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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