A Malaysian police officer testified yesterday that the two women on trial in the murder of the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader were seen on airport security videos with two men believed to have provided the VX nerve agent used to kill him.
Videos presented in court showed Vietnamese suspect Doan Thi Huong walking in the airport with a man wearing a baseball cap. Separately, Indonesian suspect Siti Aisyah was seen meeting with another man also wearing a cap at an airport cafe just before the attack was carried out in a crowded departure terminal of the Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb. 13.
The faces of the men can’t be seen clearly.
Chief investigating officer Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz identified the men as only Mr. Y and Mr. Chang.
He testified that the two men were believed to have smeared liquid on the women’s hands before the pair smeared it on Kim Jong Nam’s face.
Wan Azirul said the two men are among four people at large whom prosecutors accuse of having the common intention with the two women to murder Kim.
He named the two other at-large suspects as James, the suspected recruiter of Aisyah, and Hanamori, who is nicknamed grandpa or uncle and is suspected of giving directions to Mr. Y.
No further details about those four suspects were disclosed in open court, though Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin said outside court the four are believed to be North Koreans.
Huong and Aisyah are the only two suspects detained in the brazen assassination of Kim, an outcast from North Korea’s ruling family who lived abroad in virtual exile for years. Both women have pleaded not guilty to murder charges that carry mandatory death sentences if they are convicted.
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. Prosecutors however, contend the women knew they were handling poison.
Malaysia has never directly accused North Korea, but South Korea’s spy agency has said the attack was part of a five-year plot by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to kill a brother he reportedly never met. Kim Jong Nam was not thought to be seeking influence over his younger brother but had spoken out publicly against his family’s dynastic rule.
The trial is to resume on Oct. 24 with a visit to the crime scene at the airport. Eileen Ng, Shah Alam, AP