SHAH ALAM - Four at-large suspects in the assassination of the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader changed their clothes and appearance minutes after the attack at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), a police witness on Thursday (Oct 26) told a Malaysian court.
Investigating officer Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz said the suspects had altered their looks to avoid detection, as prosecutors played several closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) footage of them before and after the attack.
Mr Wan Azirul was testifying at the Malaysian High Court in the trial of two women who have been charged with carrying out the attack that killed Mr Kim Jong Nam on Feb 13 at KLIA's second terminal, while waiting for his flight to Macau.
Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 28, are accused of smearing poisonous liquid on his face. A post-mortem report presented in court says traces of the deadly VX nerve agent were found in Mr Kim's eyes, urine and blood, and also on his shirt and bag.
Police have identified the four men believed to have worked with the women as Mr Chang, James, Mr Y and Hanamori or Grandpa-Uncle.
These were the names that the men used when interacting with the two women.
The women, through their lawyers, have said that they believed they were taking part in a prank for a reality TV show arranged by the men.
Mr Wan Azirul, who is the ninth witness, told the court that all four men had changed clothes after the attack. They were then seen leaving the airport, based on the footage taken on the day of the incident.
In one of the recordings, Mr Chang and Mr Y were seen heading to different restrooms in the airport before emerging in different clothes.
Mr Chang, who was earlier seen with a goatee, came out of the bathroom clean-shaven and without a cap.
Mr Wan Azirul said the men were identified based on their movements, shoes and body type.
"Although they changed clothes, they did not change their shoes," Mr Wan Azirul said.
Prior to the incident, recordings showed Mr Chang and Mr Y separately meeting a man, identified as Hanamori, at a restaurant near the airport's check-in counters.
Earlier, Hanamori was seen arriving at the restaurant with another man who Mr Wan Azirul believed to be one identified as James.
Mr Chang, Mr Y and James had gone to meet Hanamori separately about one and a half hours before the attack.
After the meeting with Hanamori, Mr Chang went to meet Siti at the same restaurant, while Mr Y was seen walking past the restaurant with Doan.
Mr Wan Azirul said: "My investigation showed that Hanamori played the role as the mastermind of this incident."
He added that Hanamori, Mr Chang and Mr Y left KLIA 2, the second terminal, in the same vehicle to travel to airport's main terminal. Meanwhile, James was seen heading to the Sama Sama Hotel, a hotel beside the airport, where he checked out and headed to the main terminal too.
On Wednesday, the court was told by Mr Wan Azirul that the four men were not arrested at that time as police had insufficient information on their link to the murder.
Malaysian police have since notified Interpol to help in their capture.