Two women accused of killing Kim Jong Un's estranged half brother arrived in Malaysia to begin their trial on Monday, eight months after he was poisoned in a crowded airport terminal in broad daylight.
Siti Aisyah, from Indonesia, and Doan Thi Huong, from Vietnam, entered their pleas at Malaysia's High Court on Monday, almost eight months after the airport assassination.
The half-brother of North Korea's leader suffered extensive organ damage after being attacked with a nerve agent, a pathologist said yesterday, as more chilling details emerged at the trial of his alleged killers. The two women pleaded not guilty. Last week, Malaysia imposed a North Korea travel ban, forcing the postponement of a football match that was scheduled to take place in Pyongyang this Thursday, after it was alread rescheduled twice in the wake of the assassination.
A powerful chemical weapon, the poison kills by sending the nerve system into overdrive causing convulsions, paralysis and eventually death due to respiratory failure. The murder case will further examine Dr. Nik Mohd Adzrul. He told the court Kim's heart was beating quickly and his blood pressure was at a "life threatening level".
"I walked inside to see what was happening and saw the man was leaning against a chair inside the clinic", he said. "His hands and legs stiffened, his eyes rolled upwards, he was drooling".
Malaysia secured its citizens' release in return for Kim's body and safe passage home for the North Korean citizens sought in relation to the murder.
The charge sheet accuses the women of killing Mr Kim with four others, who are not named, still at large.More news: Bali tourist spots deserted as Agung sends up steam clouds
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After their charges were read to them in court in Indonesian and Vietnamese, the two women entered their pleas through interpreters.
Prosecutors say the pair knowingly smeared "poisonous liquid" on Kim's face, resulting in his death.
In reply to a question from deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin during examination-in-chief, he said in general, the internal examination on the victim found the internal organs and lungs swollen.
Aisyah's father, Asria Nur Hasan, told CNN in Indonesia his daughter would not have committed the murder "if she was not used by someone". Raised in a rice farm in northern Vietnam, her family said they had hardly heard from her since she left home a decade ago. "She wouldn't harm anyone, not a child, let alone someone so powerful like that".
Before their trial opened, the two women claimed they had been duped by some men into thinking they were playing a prank on Kim Jong Nam that was being filmed as part of a reality TV show.
The lawyer told Channel NewsAsia that the prosecution would "call its witnesses and reveal the narrative" on Monday. The defense lawyers argue that the real culprits have fled to Malaysia, and accused the prosecution to seek a guilty verdict, whatever it is, by pursuing their clients.