A security camera video showing the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader being attacked at a Malaysian airport and the two suspects hurrying away afterward was presented at their murder trial yesterday.
The video shows Kim Jong Nam arriving at the departure hall at the Kuala Lumpur international airport on Feb. 13 and moving to a check-in area. A woman identified in court as Vietnamese suspect Doan Thi Huong approaches Kim and clasps both hands on his face from behind before fleeing.
The second suspect, Indonesian Siti Aisyah, can’t be seen during the alleged attack but police officer Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz testified that he identified her as a person seen running away in a different direction.
Wan Azirul told the court that Huong’s manner was “aggressive” and she didn’t apologize to Kim, like she did to another person she approached at the airport two days earlier. A video of that encounter, which was described as a practice session for smearing Kim’s face with VX nerve agent, was also shown to the court.
The women are seen in other videos hurrying to separate restrooms, holding their hands away from their bodies as if to avoid contact. Wan Azirul testified that their hands were in normal positions after they left the restrooms. He said there were restrooms on the floor where the attack took place, but the women went to restrooms one floor down.
Prosecutors contend the women knew they were handling poison, and a chemical weapons expert who testified earlier said VX could be removed safely by careful hand-washing within 15 minutes of exposure. The expert, a government chemist, detected traces of VX on Huong’s fingernail clippings and on both women’s clothing, and testified that the amount of VX detected on Kim’s face exceeded a fatal dose.
“She seemed to be anxious,” Wan Azirul told the court. “From my observation, Doan has been informed and knew what needed to be done. Even though she seemed to be in a panic, she knew what to do.”
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.
Wan Azirul testified that Kim was carrying USD100,000 in cash in his backpack.
Security videos shown later in the day traced Kim’s movements after he was attacked. He gestured to his eyes and face while meeting with police officers, and he appeared to stagger as he walked with one officer to the airport medical clinic. An unconscious Kim was later seen being pushed on a gurney and pumped with oxygen by medical staff.
Videos of the women show they went to the airport taxi stand after leaving the restrooms.
Wan Azirul said Aisyah removed her scarf during the attack on Kim and put it back on after she came out of the restroom.
The judge, lawyers and the two suspects are expected to visit the crime scene next week. Eileen Ng, Shah Alam, AP