Malaysia to charge two foreign women over Kim Jong Nam's death

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong (left) and Indonesian Siti Aishah will be charged on Wednesday.
Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong (left) and Indonesian Siti Aishah will be charged on Wednesday.PHOTOS: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - The two foreign women arrested for the alleged assassination of Kim Jong Nam, estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, will be charged with murder on Wednesday (March 1).

"Murder, under Section 302 of the Penal Code," Attorney General Apandi Ali told The Straits Times in a text message on Tuesday. They will be charged in the Sepang magistrates court .

The Attorney General said investigations into a third suspect, a North Korean man based in Kuala Lumpur, has yet to be completed.

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 29, and Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, were arrested in the days after the death of Kim Jong Nam on Feb 13.  They insisted they were participating in a “prank” for a reality TV show.

Airport video footage shows two women smearing a substance on the man's face just before he was about to board a plane for Macau at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2). He died on the way to hospital.

Authorities have identified the substance as a chemical weapon known as VX, the most potent known nerve agent and considered a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

North Korean suspect Ri Jong Chol is under remand until Saturday, and he must be released if a charge is not offered by Friday.

North Korea has denied the deceased is the sibling of its supreme leader, insisting instead that it is a citizen travelling on a diplomatic passport named Kim Chol. 

Pyongyang has accused Malaysia of subverting investigations in a political conspiracy with its enemies. Kuala Lumpur has denied the claim.

shannont@sph.com.sg