World

Korea assassination trial can proceed

Korea assassination trial can proceed

CNN earlier said the women accused of murdering the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could walk free Thursday, if a judge decides there's not enough evidence to proceed with their trial.

The two women, 25-year-old Siti Aisyah, an Indonesian national, and 29-year-old Doan Thi Huong, a Vietnamese national, allegedly smeared the banned nerve agent VX on Kim's face in the airport of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in February 2017. The pair, who are the only suspects in custody in connection with the killing by poison, face a mandatory death sentence if convicted.

Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong (front, second from right) and Indonesian national Siti Aisyah (back, second from left) are escorted by Malaysian police after a court session for their trial for their alleged roles in the assassination of Kim Jong Nam at the Shah Alam High Court, outside Kuala Lumpur, on June 27, 2018.

The two women said they had been paid to carry out what they thought was a prank for a reality TV show.

Indonesian Ambassador Rusdi Kirana told reporters that his government will abide by the ruling.

Ariffin said he believed the prosecution provided sufficient evidence in court to prove that Kim was killed by VX. Huong's brother, Doan Van Binh, said the family hopes she will receive a fair trial.

Airport security footage shown in court captured the moment of the attack and prosecutors also said the camera images linked the women to the four male suspects.




The women are accused of smearing a deadly nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam s face as he waited for a flight at Kuala Lumpur airport.

The women are accused of killing Kim Jong-nam - once seen as an heir to the North Korean leadership and a rival to current leader Kim Jong-un - by smearing toxic VX on his face in February past year as he waited to board a flight to Macau. They insisted that prosecutors did not show they meant to kill Mr Kim, who had been living in exile for a decade since falling out of favour with the North's ruling family.

Prosecutors have argued that the women knew what they were doing and took part in an attack that was not only premeditated, but also practiced in advance.

Huong's lawyer, Hisyam Teh, said his client's conduct after the incident was that of an innocent person, citing CCTV recordings showing her return to the crime scene two days later, when she was arrested. The defense has argued the real culprits are the four North Korean suspects and have pointed to an embassy employee who helped arrange their travel as evidence of embassy involvement.

North Korea has denied any involvement in the killing.

Kim, the eldest son in the family that has ruled North Korea since its founding, had been living overseas for years after falling out of favor. Seoul points the finger at its northern neighbour and says it was a political hit aimed at weeding out potential rivals to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.


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