Kim Jong-nam trial sees airport video of male suspects

Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong are escorted as they revisit KLIA2 in Sepang October 24, 2017. — Reuters pic
Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong are escorted as they revisit KLIA2 in Sepang October 24, 2017. — Reuters pic

SHAH ALAM, Oct 26 — The trial of two women accused of murdering the North Korean leader’s half-brother was today shown CCTV footage of four men suspected of involvement in the assassination at the airport crime scene.

A police officer testified one of the men was believed to have been the “mastermind” in the killing of Kim Jong-nam on February 13 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, in a hit that stunned the world.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong are on trial accused of carrying out the assassination by rubbing the nerve agent VX on his face.

The pair, who were arrested a few days after the assassination and face death by hanging if convicted, have pleaded not guilty to murdering the estranged half-brother of Kim Jong-un.

They say they were tricked into believing they were taking part in a prank for a reality TV show, and South Korea has accused the North of ordering the hit. Pyongyang denies the allegations.

The charge sheet says four other individuals still at large are suspected of murdering Kim along with the women, but does not identify them. Four North Koreans fled Malaysia on the day of the murder.

Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz, the main police investigating officer, previously testified the four other suspects were men known to the women by pseudonyms — Mr Y, Mr Chang, Hanamori and James.

CCTV footage of the men at the airport around the time of the murder was shown in court today.

“Hanamori played the role as the mastermind of this incident,” Wan Azirul told the Shah Alam High Court, outside Kuala Lumpur,

The officer testified that the video showed Hanamori arriving at Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s budget terminal just after 7.30am and sitting at a table with James.

The other two men are then seen taking it in turns to separately sit down and talk to Hanamori.

The officer said Hanamori, Mr Chang and Mr Y changed their clothes after the attack and then headed to the airport’s main terminal, where they were filmed together in the departure hall.

James was filmed heading to an airport hotel at the main terminal following the attack. He checked out and was later also seen in the terminal’s departure hall.

Wan Azirul previously told the court that two of the men, Mr Chang and Mr Y, met Aisyah, 25, and Huong, 29, and put liquid on their hands shortly before Kim was attacked at 9.00am. — AFP