Kim Jong Nam murder trial

Vietnamese suspect 'quite rough' during attack: Police witness

Vietnamese suspect Doan Thi Huong being escorted into the Department of Chemistry in Petaling Jaya on Oct 9, 2017.
Vietnamese suspect Doan Thi Huong being escorted into the Department of Chemistry in Petaling Jaya on Oct 9, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

A Malaysian court heard yesterday that one of the two female suspects was "quite rough" in her attack on Mr Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, on the day she smeared something on his face in February.

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong's actions as seen on CCTV footage were described by the investigating police officer during his testimony in court.

"The difference was that her actions towards the deceased on the day of the incident were quite rough. It's as though she's conducting an attack," said officer Wan Azirul Cik Wan Aziz, comparing footage of the actual incident and an apparent practice run that was caught earlier on the airport's CCTV cameras.

He told the court that there were 23 DVDs of recordings, of which one depicted the "practice run" done by Huong two days before Mr Kim died on Feb 13. "In the DVD recording, I found that (Huong) was conducting practice on public persons at random," he said.

The footage was captured at the departure hall of Kuala Lumpur International Airport's Terminal 2, within the same vicinity where Mr Kim was approached by two women who allegedly smeared the deadly VX nerve agent on his face.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Huong, 28, were arrested days later and charged with murder. Both pleaded not guilty.

Their lawyers had claimed that the women were told they were participating in a reality television show prank.

The defence counsel for Huong argued she was unlikely to have knowledge that the liquid on her hands was dangerous.

"If she knew it, she would have washed her hands thoroughly," said Mr Naran Singh.

The court was told earlier yesterday that the concentration of the deadly VX nerve agent found on the skin of Mr Kim was 1.4 times the lethal dose.

His personal items that tested positive for VX were sent back to North Korea, it heard.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 11, 2017, with the headline 'Viet suspect 'quite rough' during attack: Police witness'. Print Edition | Subscribe