- Thomson Reuters
- The women accused of assassinating Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, are on trial in Malaysia.
- Kim Jong Nam died after Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong applied nerve agent to his face at an airport terminal in February 2017.
- They have argued that they were tricked into the act by people who told them it was part of a TV game show.
- A prosecutor in Malaysia said that their defense was a ruse and that they were in fact well-trained assassins akin to something from a James Bond movie.
- Both women face the death penalty if they are convicted.
The two women accused of killing Kim Jong Un’s half-brother with a nerve agent as he walked through an airport terminal are highly trained assassins who are playing dumb to avoid punishment, according to the prosecutor trying to convict them.
Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong, charged with murdering Kim Jong Nam at a Kuala Lumpur airport terminal in February 2017, have said they were tricked into the act by people who told them it was a prank for a TV game show.
Here is a video of the attack, as shown on Britain’s Channel 5 TV station:
But Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, the Malaysian attorney prosecuting them in court, said the defense was an “ingenious” ploy to literally get away with murder.
He said the sophistication of the killing proved the two were highly trained assassins and compared it to something out of a James Bond movie.
“This type of assassination can only be seen in James Bond movies and the two girls were not randomly picked as a scapegoat,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “They knew what they had to do and they achieved in doing it.”
- Reuters/KYODO Kyodo
Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s leader who had reportedly fallen out of favor, was killed by VX nerve agent that was rubbed into his face and eyes.
Malaysian authorities are prosecuting Aisyah and Doan, though they have avoided bringing the wider politics of the killing into the trial. Both women have pleaded not guilty and face the death penalty if the jury disagrees.
The prosecution made the Bond comparison and dismissed the defense in a hearing Thursday, where they made their closing arguments.
The judge set a ruling for August 16 to decide whether the women should enter their defense or be acquitted.
Wan Shaharuddin said the women were in the know because they deliberately targeted Kim’s eyes and hastily washed their hands after the attack.
An expert testified that the eyes were the best route of entry for the poison to spread and that VX could be washed off within 15 minutes of exposure without causing any symptoms.
With Kim weighing nearly 100 kilograms, or 220 pounds, and standing at 5 feet, 10 inches (1.7 meters) tall, the prosecutor said the women had “used their bodily power” to forcefully smear the poison on his eyes and face.
“Criminal force was used,” he said. “The conduct of the two accused was to get the attack done quickly without timely reaction from Kim … therefore they must be aggressive otherwise (Kim) might block the act of applying the dangerous substance and their mission would eventually fail.”
He said it could be inferred from security video footage that the two attacked at the same time to ensure “their plan succeed with flying colors.”
He said the women were not coerced nor under duress when they attacked Kim. Despite their claims of pranks, he said their facial expression and conduct during the attack didn’t reflect any humor.
- REUTERS/Edgar Su
Though the operation may have been planned by the North Korean suspects, Wan Shaharuddin said the women were the actual killers as they had executed the plan and directly caused Kim’s death.
He acknowledged police investigations were not perfect but urged the court to ask the women to answer why VX was found on their clothing and on Huong’s fingernails and why they had attacked Kim if they were really carrying out a prank.
“If they remain silent, all the questions that are lingering in the court’s mind will remain unanswered and they should be convicted,” he said.
Aisyah’s lawyer Gooi Soon Seng said in his rebuttal to the prosecution that the case was based on “flimsy evidence” with many “doubts and gaps.”
Huong’s lawyer Naran Singh said the women would not have just walked fast but would have “run for their life” to wash their hands after the attack if they knew they had poison on their hands.
The lawyers said the women should also be acquitted because they had been deprived of a fair trial because of shoddy investigations and a flawed charge that didn’t name the four men at large. A police investigator revealed the names of the four people during his testimony.
Aisyah and Huong were calm and shook hands with their lawyers and embassy officials at the close of the trial.