Kim Jong Nam murder trial

'Suspect rushed to toilet after attack, looking panicky'

Two women accused of killing Kim Jong Nam by allegedly smearing nerve agent VX on his face were caught on camera hurrying away after he was attacked, his murder trial heard yesterday.

Investigating officer Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz testified that closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage showed Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong rushing to the toilet looking panicked, with her hands held away from her body. When she emerged from the restroom, she looked more relaxed but was still walking quickly, he added.

"From my observation, she looked like she wanted to leave as fast as possible. She looked panicky, like she knew what was going on," Mr Wan Azirul said .

When asked if Doan could have reached the toilet within two to three minutes if she walked at a leisurely pace , he said no. The two women claim that they thought they were playing a prank for a reality TV show. The Malaysian authorities, however, say the women knew they were applying a toxic poison.

Earlier in the trial, a government chemist had testified that VX could be safely removed by washing and scrubbing one's hands with water within 15 minutes of contact.

After leaving the restroom, Doan was seen heading towards the airport's transport hub .

Doan, 28, and Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25 allegedly attacked Mr Kim, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in the departure hall of Kuala Lumpur International Airport's budget terminal KLIA2 on Feb 13.

Based on the CCTV footage, Mr Kim was walking to a self-check-in counter when a woman, identified in court as Doan, approached him from behind and clasped her hands over his face before fleeing.

Mr Wan Azirul said Doan was "aggressive" in her approach, compared to her practice run two days previously which was also caught on the airport's security cameras.

Siti Aisyah was not seen attacking Mr Kim in the CCTV recording, but Mr Wan Azirul said he identified her running away in a different direction, and that she was "shaking her hands, as if they were feeling hot".

The court also heard yesterday that Siti Aisyah met an unidentified man at KLIA2 less than an hour before Mr Kim was attacked. She was seen chatting with the man, who was wearing a black cap and spectacles, before he handed her a taxi coupon. After the attack, she was caught on CCTV rushing to the transport hub and also looking panicked.

The court was told yesterday that Mr Kim had cash of US$100,000 (S$136,000) in his knapsack. Mr Wan Azirul said the cash is being stored in a safe at the Sepang district police headquarters.

The trial continues today.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2017, with the headline ''Suspect rushed to toilet after attack, looking panicky' '. Print Edition | Subscribe