Published: Tue, October 24, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Kim Jong-nam accused escorted around scene of Kuala Lumpur airport assassination

Kim Jong-nam accused escorted around scene of Kuala Lumpur airport assassination

Two women on trial for murdering the North Korean leader's half-brother visited the Malaysian airport where he was poisoned under heavy police guard today, with the exhausted suspects pushed around in wheelchairs and one bursting into tears.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, a Vietnamese, are charged with murdering Kim Jong-nam by smearing his face with VX, a chemical nerve agent, at Kuala Lumpur's global terminal on February 13.

They were escorted by dozens of armed police officers wearing body armour. Kim Jong-nam was waiting there to board a flight in February when he was poisoned with nerve agent in a brazen assassination that shocked the world.

The two suspects, the judge and others were escorted inside the Kuala Lumpur airport Tuesday by heavily armed police on a tour meant to give the court a better perspective of events as they unfolded.

The prosecutor said the group had traced the routes taken by Huong, Aisyah and Kim on the day of the murder.

"I believe the visit to the crime scene will help strengthen the prosecution's case because it will allow the judge to follow the women's trail and understand why they took that path", prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin told The Associated Press before the tour began.

They have pleaded not guilty to murder, saying it was a TV prank and they were tricked by North Korean agents.

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According to the police, the victim was so weak that she could not even scream for help when the assault was taking place. The incident happened near Railway Station on Srinivasa Kalyanamandapam road, on Sunday, at around 2 p.m.

The assassination sparked a fierce row between Malaysia and North Korea, which is suspected of ordering the hit - an allegation Pyongyang denies.

Siti and Doan along with four others still at large, were charged with the murder of Kim Chol, 45, at the KL International Airport 2 (klia2) departure hall at 9am on Feb 13 this year. They are not identified in the charge sheet but four North Koreans fled Malaysia on the day of the killing.

About an hour into the tour, Indonesian Siti Aisyah became emotional and the tour was halted temporarily.

On Tuesday morning, prosecutors were seen leading the judge around the airport terminal, starting from the spot the women allegedly smeared VX, the nerve agent, on Mr Kim.

The group visited an airport cafe at one point during the visit.

Both women were seen meeting with two men, identified only as Mr Chang and Mr Y, before the attack. Aisyah's lawyer Gooi Soon Seng said the women had complained of exhaustion. Both women were then provided wheelchairs.

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