The trial of two women, Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, a Vietnamese, charged with the assassination of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jing Un has begun in Malaysia.
During court proceedings of the high-profile murder trial in a Malaysian court on Monday, the women pleaded not guilty for allegedly administering a nerve agent VX on the deceased, Kim Jong Nam.
Both women who face the death penalty if convicted 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, when they administered the nerve agent banned by the United Nations on Kim at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport on February 13.
Prosecutor Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad read a statement giving details of Kim’s murder allegedly carried out by the two suspects who both wore bullet-proof vests after they were led into the court on the outskirts of Malaysia’s largest city.
“The evidence clearly showed that their action to swipe the poison known as VX caused the death of the victim,” he told the court.
Days after Kim’s death, Malaysia’s health minister Subramaniam Sathasivam revealed that the dose of nerve agent given to Kim was so high that it killed him within 20 minutes and caused him “very serious paralysis.”
While pointing fingers at North Korea for Kim’s death, Sathasivam said the dose of VX given to Kim was on the high side as he showed symptoms within minutes. He said Kim fainted at the airport clinic and died in the ambulance while en route to a hospital.
North Korea has denied any role in the killing of Kim and has accused Malaysia of conspiring with its enemies prompting North Korean Ambassador Chol to reject a Malaysian autopsy that found Kim was killed with VX, a banned chemical weapon at the time.
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