'Sweating profusely:' Kim Jong Nam's last moments

Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong is escorted with a heavy police presence after a court appearance in March
Credit
AFP

Doan Thi Huong from Vietnam and Indonesian Siti Aisyah are suspected of smearing Kim Jong-nam's face with the deadly toxin VX nerve agent at a crowded airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur.

The accused women say they thought they were playing a harmless prank for a hidden-camera TV show.

Under section 302 of the Malaysian criminal code, a guilty verdict carries a mandatory death sentence. One of Huong's lawyers said he did not expect the defense to begin presenting its case until some time next year.

They are accused of having projected the face of a half-brother of Kim Jong-un a nerve agent, VX, a highly lethal gas sarin considered a weapon of mass destruction.

"The patient was stabilised but we needed to transfer him to a hospital with an ICU (intensive care unit)", he testified before High Court Judge Datuk Azmi Ariffin. Witnesses are expected to take the stand in the trial.

Physician Nik Mohd Adzrul Ariff Raja Azlan, who tended to the victim and was the last witness to testify on Monday, said Kim was sweating profusely. Ri Jae Nam, O Jong Gil, Hong Song Hak and Ri Ji Hyon, are four of seven North Koreans who have so far been linked to the murder.

Days after Kim's death, Malaysia's health minister Subramaniam Sathasivam revealed that the dose of nerve agent given to Kim was so high that it killed him within 20 minutes and caused him "very serious paralysis".

The North Korean regime denies it was behind the killing of the North Korean President's half-brother Kim Jong Nam in an attack at the Kuala Lumpur International airport earlier this year.

The eldest of the Kim siblings, Kim Jong Nam was born to a famous married actress and kept in hiding in case his existence hampered his father's chances of taking over from the country's founder, his grandfather Kim Il Sung.

"I saw there was some liquid on his face and his eyes were a little red", he said.

In late January, James introduced her to a man called Chang, who said he was the producer of video prank shows for the Chinese market, the lawyer said.

Their lawyers argue the women were duped and the true culprits were North Korean agents who told the women what to do. Four North Korean suspects fled Malaysia on the day of the murder.

The prosecution also said in its opening statement that expert testimony would be presented to prove that VX was the cause of death. Political analysts have said the decision to let the North Korean suspects go was a political deal meant to end a standoff and free the Malaysians who were trapped in the north.

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