Defendants, their representatives and court officials tour scene of murder of North Korean leader's brother
The two women arrived under heavy police guard, wearing body armor
The two women on trial for the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of the North Korean leader, visited the Malaysian airport on Tuesday where they allegedly poisoned him.
As part of the trial, defendants Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong, retraced their steps at key locations in Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2), the terminal for budget airlines, including the check-in counter where the attack on Kim allegedly took place.
They wore bullet-proof vests and were accompanied by dozens of heavily armed police officers.
Malaysian authorities claim the pair were trained by North Korean agents to swab Kim’s face with VX nerve agent. Kim, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was allegedly poisoned with the nerve agent at the airport in February on his way back to his home in the Chinese territory of Macau.
The two defendants, who pleaded not guilty to murdering Kim earlier this month, face the death penalty if they are convicted. North Korea has repeatedly and vehemently denied any involvement in his death.
The two defendants walked around key areas of the airport alongside their defense lawyers, the judge overseeing the case, the prosecutors and the investigating officer Asst Supt Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz.
Security footage that emerged soon after Kim’s death, showed the two suspects walking up behind him and rubbing their hands on his face. Both women say they were duped into thinking that they were participating in a prank TV show.
Aisyah’s lawyer, Gooi Soon Seng told reporters in a press conference that the purpose of the visit was to get a clearer picture of what happened on February 13 and determine the different routes taken by Kim and the two suspects.
Aisyah, an Indonesian citizen, and Huong, from Vietnam, were placed in wheelchairs after complaining of fatigue. Huong’s lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, told journalists the two were tired after walking for over an hour to tour the crime scene.
Sites of interest
As of noon, the witness and the officers of the court had visited more than 20 sites in the terminal.
The group also stopped at other significant locations in the terminal, including the clinic where Kim was taken following the alleged murder and a taxi stand where Aisyah and Huong went after the incident.
Gooi said the group visited two separate toilets that were purportedly used by the defendants.
“More or less we have a clearer picture of what happened but many things are not covered by the CCTV,” referring to the security cameras.
Gooi added the CCTV recording didn’t show the women entering certain passageways to go to the washroom.
They also examined an airport coffee shop named Bibik Heritage, where Wan Azirul pointed out two cameras which had captured elements of the alleged attack.
The group moved slowly, stopping at each site for around five minutes each.
On the sidelines of a press conference following the visit, Gooi confirmed that Wan Azirul, the police investigator, had testified that an individual identified as “Mr Chang” allegedly wiped a liquid on his client’s hands.
“But that is just his interpretation,” he said. “The CCTV recording did not show anybody applying any liquid into anybody’s hands.”
Journalist Salhan Ahmad in Kuala Lumpur contributed to this report.