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Malaysia: Camera Caught Suspect Practicing 2 Days Before Kim Assassination

Hareez Lee and Fadzil Aziz
Shah Alam, Malaysia
2017-10-10
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Police officers escort Vietnamese suspect Doan Thi Hoang (center), to the Shah Alam court complex outside Kuala Lumpur, Oct. 5, 2017.
Police officers escort Vietnamese suspect Doan Thi Hoang (center), to the Shah Alam court complex outside Kuala Lumpur, Oct. 5, 2017.
Fadzil Aziz/BenarNews

A CCTV camera filmed one of two Southeast Asian women who are on trial for Kim Jong Nam’s murder practicing moves on an unsuspecting person at a Kuala Lumpur area airport two days before the assassination, a Malaysian police investigator testified Tuesday.

Defendants Doan Thi Huang and Siti Aisyah stand accused of accosting the estranged half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and smearing his face with a deadly chemical, VX nerve agent, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) on Feb. 13. The two could be sentenced to death, if convicted of murdering Kim Jong Nam.

Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz, a senior investigating officer, testified that Doan, a Vietnamese national, was seen on closed-circuit television footage at KLIA 2 on Feb. 11.

“The OKT Doan was seen approaching from behind a member of the public she chose randomly, and smeared something on the person’s face,” Wan Azirul testified in response to a question from Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin.

OKT is an abbreviation for orang kena tuduh, or the person being accused.

“When the person turned toward her, she made a gesture like apologising, by lowering her head and putting her hands together in front, before walking several steps and turning away,” he said.

The ninth witness for the prosecution, Wan Azirul told the Shah Alam court near Kuala Lumpur that Doan appeared to be more relaxed on Feb. 11 than she was when she allegedly attacked Kim Jong Nam at the airport two days later as he was preparing to board a flight to Macau.

When asked about the difference between the Feb. 11 action and the killing on Feb. 13, Wan Azirul testified Doan was “more aggressive toward the deceased.

“The action by OKT was quite aggressive. The other difference is that OKT Doan walked fast,” he said, referring to Doan’s actions after allegedly accosting Kim.

During opening statements, prosecutors said they aimed to prove that Doan and Indonesian co-defendant Siti Aisyah were involved in a prank along with four others that resulted in the death of Kim Jong Nam. Shortly after the killing, investigators said four North Korean men were seen at the airport, but they fled the country that day, according to Malaysian police.

Doan and Aisyah have claimed in reports that they were duped by some men into thinking they were playing a prank on Kim Jong Nam that was being filmed as part of a reality TV show. The women claimed they did not know they were smearing the deadly nerve agent on his face when they approached him at the airport.

Testifying on the sixth day of the trial, the investigator said 23 DVDs containing CCTV footage were obtained from the airport, of which 22 were from the day Kim Jong Nam died while one was from Feb. 11.

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Senior investigating officer Wan Azirul Nizan Che Wan Aziz, Oct. 10, 2017. (FadzilAziz/BenarNews)

Chemist continues testimony

Earlier, government chemist Raja Subramaniam returned to the stand to testify that an analysis of the victim’s skin found traces of VX nerve agent at a higher dose than an amount known to be lethal.

Raja, the head chemist at Chemistry Department’s Chemical Weapon Analysis Center, testified that the amount on Kim’s skin was 1.4 times higher than the only known lethal dose of the nerve agent. He told the court that the previous lethal dose was based on a case in Osaka, Japan, in 1994.

Raja also said he had been informed that items from the victim, including a blazer, a bag, shoes, jeans, a ring and a watch had been returned to North Korea. Kim Jong Nam’s body was sent there six weeks after the fatal attack that led to a political row between the two countries.

On Monday, the defense team raised concerns to reporters about the missing jacket worn by Kim on the day of the fatal attack, following a court session at Raja’s lab to view VX-tainted evidence.

“We will ask later why it was handed over to North Korea and under whose instruction,” Aisyah lawyer Gooi Soon Seng told reporters.

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