Women plead not guilty in Malaysia trial over Kim Jong-nam murder

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International desk, October 02: Two women have pleaded not guilty in the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s leader, at the start of their trial in Malaysia.Mr Kim died in February at Kuala Lumpur’s airport, in a mysterious case that has gripped the world.

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 29, and Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, are accused of rubbing the highly toxic nerve agent VX on his face.

But the women have claimed North Korean agents tricked them into doing it.

Pyongyang has denied any involvement in the death.

With their heads bowed, the women walked past a horde of journalists gathered outside the court in Shah Alam, outside of Kuala Lumpur, on Monday morning.

The suspects were in handcuffs and wearing bulletproof vests, reported AFP news agency.

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

Mr Kim, who was in his mid-40s, was the estranged older half-brother of leader Kim Jong-un, and had been living overseas at the time of his death.

CCTV cameras captured the two women accosting him at Kuala Lumpur’s airport on the morning of 13 February and rubbing their hands on his face. He immediately sought help from airport staff, but collapsed and died minutes later.

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.

Source: Agencies