Malaysia: Prosecutors Turn Over Evidence in Kim Jong Nam Murder Case

2017-06-16
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Gooi Soon Seng (C), a lawyer representing Indonesian suspect Siti Aisyah who is charged with murder in the killing of Kim Jong Nam, talks to reporters after a hearing at the Kajang Women’s Prison, June 16, 2017.
Gooi Soon Seng (C), a lawyer representing Indonesian suspect Siti Aisyah who is charged with murder in the killing of Kim Jong Nam, talks to reporters after a hearing at the Kajang Women’s Prison, June 16, 2017.
BenarNews/RFA

Prosecutors on Friday handed over post-mortem and toxicology reports along with dozens of other documents of evidence to lawyers representing two Southeast Asian women charged with fatally poisoning the half-brother of North Korea’s dictator at a Malaysian airport in February.

The attorneys for the women will use the 44 documents to prepare for their clients’ upcoming trial. But the lawyer representing one of the suspects said he did not receive the CCTV footage showing the alleged nerve agent attack at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 on Feb.13 that killed Kim Jong Nam, the estranged relative of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“How long does it take to download a video onto a CD? You can do it in one day,” said attorney Gooi Soon Seng, who represents Indonesian suspect Siti Aisyah.

“They have not even replied to us. We are totally disappointed that they had never even replied to us,” he told journalists after a closed-door hearing the Kajang Women’s Prison, south of Kuala Lumpur.

Among the documents turned over to the defense teams were police reports, statements from the defendants, autopsy pictures, forensic pictures, passport verification for the victim and the suspects and toxicology reports, according to a list viewed by BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

Gooi said his defense team had hired experts from Denmark to examine the evidence including nerve agent VX, which was ruled the cause of Kim’s death and is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

The lawyers for both suspects appeared before High Court deputy registrar Nasrudin Mohamed at the Kajang Women’s Prison. Officials moved the hearing there from the Shah Alam High Court, citing security concerns.

Both Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese co-defendant Doan Thi Hoang are well and have no complaints about the prison, their lawyers said.

Next hearing in July

Outside the prison in Selangor state, public prosecutor Iskandar Ahmad confirmed that the documents were given to the defense teams. Both sides said the case was scheduled to resume July 28 at the Shah Alam High Court before Judge Azmi Ariffin.

The two women allegedly poisoned Kim Jong Nam by smearing the nerve agent on his face at the airport while he was preparing to board a flight to Macau, where he and his family lived. Kim died about 15 minutes later as he was being transported to a hospital.

Aisyah and Doan were charged in March with Kim’s murder along with “four others who are still at large” – a reference to North Korean men who were spotted on surveillance cameras at an airport restaurant with the women moments before the attack on Kim. The men boarded planes and left the country later that day.

The assassination strained ties between Malaysia and North Korea, with both sides expelling their respective ambassadors and imposing exit bans on each other’s citizens, as they argued over the body and suspects holed up in the North Korean Embassy.

Kim’s body was returned to North Korea on March 30 at the same time that nine Malaysians who had been trapped in North Korea because of the exit ban returned to Kuala Lumpur.

Doan’s lawyers, Naran Singh, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik and Salim Bashir, said they were satisfied with the evidence from prosecutors.

“The documents are the post-mortem report, the chemist report, the arrest report and some documentary reports,” Naran said, adding he expects CCTV footage relating to assassination to be handed over soon.

The women, who face the death penalty if convicted, said they were duped into believing they were taking part in a reality TV show.

Reported by BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

CH. 1: MANDARIN | CANTONESE

CH. 2: VIETNAMESE | BURMESE | KOREAN

CH. 3: KHMER | LAO | UYGHUR

CH. 4: TIBETAN

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