Kim Jong-nam murder trial goes to high court, suspects facing death

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The high-profile court case on the alleged murder of North Korea’s Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13 this year has been transferred to Malaysia’s High Court on May 30 after it was delayed twice due to the prosecution’s request for evidence and document compilation.

Two women, Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, 28, and Indonesian Siti Aishah, 25, are suspected of the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s estranged half-brother by smearing Jong-nam‘s face with the toxic VX nerve agent, a chemical classified as a weapon of mass destruction allegedly provided by North Korean intelligence.

The case is now with the Shah Alam High Court in Selangor which will fix a date for case management before proceeding to trial.

If convicted, both women face the death penalty which is a mandatory punishment for murder in Malaysia. Only the country’s two High Courts have the jurisdiction to sentence someone to death.

Aisyah and Huong have told their lawyers and diplomats from their countries that they had believed they were carrying out a “prank for a reality television show” and not a murder. Both were young migrants, who originated from rural areas in their home countries and are believed to have been working in the red light district of the Malaysian capital.

US and South Korean officials say the murder was orchestrated by North Korea’s secret service on behalf of Kim Jong-un because Kin Jong-nam repeatedly spoke out in public against his family’s dynastic control of the isolated, nuclear-armed nation and was seen by some as a possible liberal successor once the government in Pyongyang would have somehow been toppled.

Allegedly, North Korean agents hired the two women to carry out the “prank” for a small sum of money, but critics of this version said they can’t believe that anyone could be so gullible and accused the pair of complicity.

Aisyah said she was given $90 to smear Kim Jong-nam’s face with “baby oil” as part of a reality show joke. Huong, who was wearing a “LOL” t-shirt (“lots of laughs”) during the attack, also said she thought it was a TV stunt and she had trained it before.

Malaysia has identified four male suspects, who fled the country on the day Kim Jong-nam was attacked, with their names later placed on an Interpol list. However, all four are believed to have gone back to Pyongyang.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The high-profile court case on the alleged murder of North Korea’s Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13 this year has been transferred to Malaysia’s High Court on May 30 after it was delayed twice due to the prosecution’s request for evidence and document compilation.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The high-profile court case on the alleged murder of North Korea’s Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13 this year has been transferred to Malaysia’s High Court on May 30 after it was delayed twice due to the prosecution’s request for evidence and document compilation.

Two women, Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, 28, and Indonesian Siti Aishah, 25, are suspected of the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s estranged half-brother by smearing Jong-nam‘s face with the toxic VX nerve agent, a chemical classified as a weapon of mass destruction allegedly provided by North Korean intelligence.

The case is now with the Shah Alam High Court in Selangor which will fix a date for case management before proceeding to trial.

If convicted, both women face the death penalty which is a mandatory punishment for murder in Malaysia. Only the country’s two High Courts have the jurisdiction to sentence someone to death.

Aisyah and Huong have told their lawyers and diplomats from their countries that they had believed they were carrying out a “prank for a reality television show” and not a murder. Both were young migrants, who originated from rural areas in their home countries and are believed to have been working in the red light district of the Malaysian capital.

US and South Korean officials say the murder was orchestrated by North Korea’s secret service on behalf of Kim Jong-un because Kin Jong-nam repeatedly spoke out in public against his family’s dynastic control of the isolated, nuclear-armed nation and was seen by some as a possible liberal successor once the government in Pyongyang would have somehow been toppled.

Allegedly, North Korean agents hired the two women to carry out the “prank” for a small sum of money, but critics of this version said they can’t believe that anyone could be so gullible and accused the pair of complicity.

Aisyah said she was given $90 to smear Kim Jong-nam’s face with “baby oil” as part of a reality show joke. Huong, who was wearing a “LOL” t-shirt (“lots of laughs”) during the attack, also said she thought it was a TV stunt and she had trained it before.

Malaysia has identified four male suspects, who fled the country on the day Kim Jong-nam was attacked, with their names later placed on an Interpol list. However, all four are believed to have gone back to Pyongyang.

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