DIANA JABLONSKI WRITES – Malaysia’s high-profile trial on the murder of Kim Jong Nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has resumed.
Two women, 25-year-old Indonesian Siti Aisyah and 29-year-old Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, were charged with the alleged murder, caused by a chemical substance known as the VX Nerve Agent on Kim Jong Nam’s face. The brutal attack occurred at a Malaysian airport terminal in broad daylight.
Both women have pleaded not guilty and claimed that the attack was part of a television hidden camera prank. If convicted, the two could face the death penalty. Also, four North Korean men have been accused of being involved, but have yet to be captured. The trial recently resumed after several weeks of witness testimony challenging the accuracy of video footage that was captured at the airport.
A few days after the trial began, a leaked video of the alleged attack was aired on Japan’s Fuji Television. Malaysia Airport Holding MAHB said they were not responsible for the leak. Malaysian newspaper The Star reported that MAHB security assistant G. Shankar, who was in charge of providing a duplicate copy for authorities to present during the trial, had testified that the airport had no part in the leaking of the video. Police recently confirmed the airport was not behind the leak.
While the motives of the women remain unknown, reports have claimed that the attack may have been political. Some report that Malaysia and South Korea have announced that North Korea is behind the murder of Kim Jong Nam. North Korea has denied being involved.
As the trial continues, prosecutors are expecting a final verdict coming this March.