Suspects in Kim Jong Nam murder plead not guilty

Pathologist North Korean had low enzyme due to poisoning

THE highly anticipated high-profile murder trial of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un kicked off in Malaysia on Monday with the two women accused of using a banned nerve agent to carry out the assassination pleading not guilty.

During their trial, which got underway today, Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 29, and Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25 said that they were tricked into carrying out the job.

However, both women have said they thought they were playing a harmless prank for a hidden-camera show, with Aisyah saying she was paid £73 to do it.

According to the prosecution, the assassination was practiced several times in Kuala Lumpur's shopping malls with the aid of four other North Korean citizens, who are treated as suspects in the case and were caught on video footage observing the murder from a distance.

The murder sparked an angry row between North Korea and Malaysia with both countries expelling each other's ambassadors.

Personalities north Korean with a party related to the case have fled to Malaysia immediately after the murder.

Malaysian authorities conducted an autopsy and announced he died after coming into contact with VX, which is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

Drawing on interviews with a leading North Korean defector, diplomats, Kim Jong-nam's school friends and even a former North Korean secret agent, North Korea's Deadly Dictator sheds light on the inner workings of the Kim family, and how Kim Jong-un is trying to ensure his regime's survival.

The two young women are at risk of the death penalty for the assassination of Kim Jong-nam in February.

He said evidence also showed that after the chemical was wiped on to the victim's face, the victim rushed to the officer on duty at the customer service counter to lodge a complaint before he was brought to a clinic at the airport.

At the airport on the day of Kim's death, Chang pointed him out to Aisyah as the next target and put the poison on her hand, the lawyer said.

After their charges were read to them in court in Indonesian and Vietnamese, the two women entered their pleas through interpreters.

Their defence lawyers have said they will argue that the real culprits have left Malaysia. But after North Korea barred Malaysian diplomats and their families from leaving its territory, Malaysia relented. Four North Korean men who fled Malaysia shortly after the incident are believed to suspects.

The trial is expected to run until November 30 and the prosecution is expected to call up to 40 witnesses.

Before the murder Malaysia had been one of Pyongyang's few allies amid a global outcry over the country's atomic weapons programme.

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