SHAH ALAM: Security videos showing the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader being attacked at a Malaysian airport and the two suspects hurrying away afterward were presented at their murder trial Wednesday.
Kim Jong Nam was seen arriving at the departure hall of the Kuala Lumpur international airport the morning of Feb. 13 and moving to a check-in area. A woman identified in court as Vietnamese suspect Doan Thi Huong approaches Kim at the check-in counter and clasps both hands on his face from behind.
Police officer Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz testified that the second suspect, Indonesian Siti Aisyah, can’t be seen attacking Kim, but he identified her as a person seen in the video running away in a different direction.
Wan Azirul testified Huong appeared “aggressive” and didn’t apologize to Kim like she did to another person she approached in a similar manner two days earlier. That encounter was described as a practice session for smearing Kim’s face with VX nerve agent.
Both women are seen hurrying to separate restrooms, holding their hands away from their bodies as if to avoid contact. Wan Azirul testified their hands were in normal positions after they left the restrooms. They then went to the taxi stand, where they got into a vehicle to leave.
Prosecutors contend the women knew they were handling poison, and scientists who testified earlier said VX could be removed safely by careful hand-washing. A chemist testified earlier he detected VX on Huong’s fingernail clippings and that the amount of VX detected on Kim’s face exceeded a fatal dose.
Their defense lawyers have said Huong and Aisyah were duped by suspected North Korean agents into believing they were playing a harmless prank for a TV show.
“She seemed to be anxious. From my observation, Doan has been informed and knew what needed to be done. Even though she seemed to be in panic, she knew what to do,” wan Azirul told the court.
Huong and Aisyah have pleaded not guilty to murder charges that carry a mandatory death sentence if they are convicted. —AP