Kim murder suspects told rap stands

Top News | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 17 Aug 2018

The murder trial of two women accused of murdering the half-brother of North Korea's leader can proceed, a Malaysian judge ruled yesterday in a blow to family members who insist the pair were tricked into the killing.

After hearing the prosecution case, the judge said there was sufficient evidence to support a murder charge against Siti Aisyah, 26, from Indonesia and Doan Thi Huong, 30, from Vietnam, accused of murdering Kim Jong Nam with a nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur airport.

Judge Azmi Ariffin said the evidence since the trial started in October pointed to a "well-planned conspiracy" with a group of North Korean suspects still at large.

The women, who are now expected to testify in the Shah Alam High Court outside Kuala Lumpur, looked shocked and tearful at the ruling.

Their families claim the pair were tricked into carrying out the killing, believing it was a TV stunt.

Aisyah's father, Asria, said in a Java village: "She was fooled."

The trial is set to resume in November, with Aisyah likely first on the stand.

The women are accused of killing Kim - seen as heading North Korea's top order until current leader Kim Jong Un got the nod - by smearing toxic VX on his face in February last year as he waited for a flight to Macau.

The pair, who could be hanged if found guilty, claim they fell victim to a plot hatched by North Korean agents, who made them believe they were in a prank for reality TV.

The court was told that four North Koreans - absent, but accused alongside the women - recruited the pair and provided the poison on the day of the murder then fled the country.

Airport CCTV footage shows the women rushing to bathrooms after the murder.

And the judge said it "showed that they had the knowledge the liquid on their hands was toxic."

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