Women to plead not guilty in high-pro­file Kim Nam mur­der trial

Daily Nation Newspaper - - NEWS OF THE WORLD -

KUALA LUMPUR - Two women ac­cused of killing the es­tranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader at the Kuala Lumpur in­ter­na­tional air­port are ex­pected to plead not guilty when their trial be­gins at a Malaysian court on Mon­day.

In­done­sian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, from Viet­nam, are charged with mur­der­ing Kim Jong Nam at the air­port on Fe­bru­ary 13 by smear­ing his face with VX, a chem­i­cal the United Na­tions de­scribes as a weapon of mass de­struc­tion.

The pair, how­ever, have told their lawyers they did not know they were par­tic­i­pat­ing in a deadly at­tack and be­lieved they were car­ry­ing out a prank for a re­al­ity TV show. They face the death penalty if con­victed.

Mon­day’s much-an­tic­i­pated trial is ex­pected to run un­til Novem­ber 30 at the Shah Alam High Court on the out­skirts of the Malaysian cap­i­tal.

Lead pros­e­cu­tor Muhamad Iskan­dar Ah­mad de­clined to com­ment on de­tails of the case, but said be­tween 30 and 40 wit­nesses, in­clud­ing 10 ex­perts, would be called to tes­tify.

South Korean and U.S. of­fi­cials have said that Kim Jong Un’s regime was be­hind the mur­der.

Kim Jong Nam, who was liv­ing in ex­ile in Ma­cau, had crit­i­cised his fam­ily’s dy­nas­tic rule of North Korea and his brother had is­sued a stand­ing or­der for his ex­e­cu­tion, ac­cord­ing to some South Korean law­mak­ers.

Four other peo­ple, who have not been ap­pre­hended or named, have been charged along with Siti Aisyah and Huong. Four North Kore­ans, who po­lice named as sus­pects in the case, left Kuala Lumpur for Pyongyang on the day of the killing.

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