Returning to court on Monday after a seven-week hiatus, the prosecutors of two Southeast Asian women charged with murdering Kim Jong Nam called computer technicians to verify CCTV footage taken during and after last year’s chemical attack.
Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong face a death sentence if convicted of fatally poisoning the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s dictator by smearing VX nerve agent on his face at a Kuala Lumpur area airport on Feb. 13, 2017.
Lead prosecutor Muhammad Iskandar Ahmad told the Shah Alam High Court that four witnesses were expected to testify this week before lead investigating officer (IO) Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz returned to the stand for cross examination. Before the long pause in the trial, he testified about the two women being seen on CCTV footage attacking Kim before fleeing to airport restrooms and then heading to a taxi terminal.
“We hope to resolve the testimony of all [prosecution] witnesses by March,” Iskandar told reporters following the court session. The schedule calls for sessions to be held on four more days in January, two in February and four in March before the defense presents its case.
The defendants claim they thought they were participating in a game show. Four North Korean men who have been named suspects and were seen on CCTV videos at the airport, fled from Malaysia after the attack.
Last week, defense attorneys said they planned to build the case for their clients through their cross-examination of Wan Azirul.
“It’s too premature to talk about the witnesses. But Doan’s full defense will be known when we cross-examine the IO,” Doan attorney Hisyam Teh Poh Teik told BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.
He said the defense hoped the court did not call the defendants to testify, but if that happened, he had four or five other witnesses to call.
On Monday, the technicians testified about how they had downloaded CCTV footage during and after the attack and passed along disks with the footage to investigators. The defense teams had challenged the disks’ admissibility, claiming they were created after the women were arrested.
Reported by BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.