Two women, Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, who were arrested for the murder of Kim Jong-nam are to be charged to court.
Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and eldest son of former North Korea leader Kim Jong-il, was murdered by two women at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, on the 13th of February, a death which was caught on camera.
CCTV footage showed two women walk up to him and push something into his face. He died soon after from VX poisoning, a deadly poison classed as a weapon of mass destruction and banned around the world. The women were arrested soon after and they have both claimed they thought they were taking part in a practical joke.
Indonesian Siti Aisyah reportedly revealed that she had been paid only 400 ringgit ($90) for her to insert the liquid, which she thought was probably baby oil, into Kim Jong-nam. On her part, Doan Thi Huong from Vietnam told Hanoi officials she had been tricked into killing Kim and thought she was taking part in a prank for a comedy video.
Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali told AFP by text message that both women will be charged in court under Section 302 (murder) of the penal code. They will appear in court on Wednesday and are likely to face death by hanging if convicted.
Doan Thi Huong’s stepmother, Nguyen Thi Vy, told AFP that she believes her daughter was set up and could never have the heart to do such. She pleaded for a fair trial of her stepdaughter.
A third suspect, Ri Jong-Chol, 46, is also being held in connection with the assassination. Whether or not she will be charged is dependent on the result of the police investigation which is ongoing.
Meanwhile, there has been a row over the corpse of Kim Jong-nam. North Korea is insisting that Malaysia should hand over the corpse. They have also expressed displeasure over Malaysia’s investigation into the killing, claiming the Malaysians are playing politics. The result of the autopsy carried out on Kim Jong-nam was also rejected by the North Korean representatives.
In all this, North Korea has refused to acknowledge the identity of the deceased, choosing instead to refer to him as the “body of the deceased DPRK (North Korean) citizen”.
On their part, Malaysia has refused to hand over the body to the Koreans until the deceased’s next-of-kin comes forward to identify and provide a DNA sample.
“We need to have the definite identity of the person and the body will be given to the next of kin,” Health Minister S. Subramaniam said.