SITI AISYAH, DOAN UNDER HEAVY GUARD
More than 200 policemen were involved in security detail at court
AS a police sniper kept a watchful eye from the upper floor of the Sepang court complex, the two women charged in connection with the murder of Kim Jong-nam arrived yesterday morning under heavy guard.
Doan Thi Huong and Siti Aisyah were transported in separate convoys comprising three motorcycles and nine cars, each.
As the host of local and foreign journalists who had gathered outside the court complex watched on, each convoy sped along the road outside, drove in and stopped in front of the main building.
More than 200 policemen from various units, including the Federal Reserve Unit, Special Action Unit and the federal police’s Special Task Force on Organised Crime (Stafoc) were involved in the security detail at the court complex.
At least 20 Stafoc officers were deployed as part of the security detail for each woman.
Doan was the first to arrive, at 9.30am, followed by Siti Aisyah, less than 10 minutes later.
As each woman alighted from their respective vehicles, they were surrounded by Stafoc members and other policemen and women, and led into the court building.
After they were charged with the murder of a man who had in his possession a North Korean passport under the name “Kim Chol”, the women were led out of the court building, one at a time. Doan was led out first and less than 10 minutes after the convoy transporting her sped away, Siti Aisyah was brought out.
This time, however, police took the added measure of having them wear bulletproof vests.
The high-profile case of the assassination of Jong-nam, the exiled half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has caught the attention of the world. Security was heightened at every location associated with the case, including the Kuala Lumpur Hospital mortuary, where Jongnam’s body is being kept.
Yesterday’s proceedings were no different as the gates to the court complex were closed and placed under armed guard. Only those with official business were let in.
Members of the press, of whom there were more than 200, began arriving as early as 5.30am, “camping” outside the compound as they waited to be allowed in.
The day before, the media had been told by federal police headquarters they would have to register before they would be let into the compound of the court complex. Registration, Bukit Aman said, would begin at 7.30am.
True to form, the registration process began exactly at that time, but the media were told due to the limited space available, entry into the complex would be capped at one reporter and cameraman per news organisation.
Even then, only 30 reporters from selected media organisations would be allowed into the courtroom.
When Siti Aisyah’s lawyer, Gooi Soon Seng, exited the courtroom, reporters who were on standby in the compound made a beeline for him, but policemen on guard warned the press in raised voices to keep their distance.
The brouhaha in the court complex yesterday also drew a small crowd of bystanders, mostly those from nearby neighbourhoods. They stood outside the compound patiently, watching what was going on and discussing what they had been reading in the newspapers and news websites.
Hishim Azim, 43, who was standing with five of his friends across the complex, said it was the first high-profile case that had taken place there.
“I have been following this case... I knew they would be brought here and we wanted to know first-hand what was going on.”
Another man, who declined to be named, said he was sending his children to school when he saw a large number of reporters and cameramen waiting outside the court.
He said, after dropping off his children, he decided to stop to see what was going on.
“I have not seen such hype near my house. This is also the first time police are directing traffic at the nearby junction,” he said.
The police car transporting Siti Aisyah being followed by the federal police’s Special Task Force on Organised Crime at the Sepang court complex yesterday.