Eight months after Kim Jong Nam dropped dead at Kuala Lumpur global airport, two women arrested and charged with his murder pleaded not guilty on the first day of the much-anticipated trial in Malaysia on Monday.
Prosecutors told the court the actions of Siti Aisyah and Doan showed they both meant to cause Jong Nam’s death. A lot of them wore gloves and masks as a safety precaution after prosecutors warned the VX-tainted items may still be unsafe.
They have not testified but their defence has said the women believed they were playing a harmless prank for a hidden-camera TV show and were tricked by men suspected of being North Korean agents.
Dr S Raja, 42, who heads the Chemistry Department’s Chemical Analysis Centre laboratory said based on his analysis of the exhibits, the VX were found on the sleeveless shirt of Siti Aisyah as well the white shirt bearing the phrase “LOL” worn by Doan Thi Huong.
In reply to deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin during examination-in-chief, he said the presence of precursor and degradation product of origin confirmed the presence of VX itself.
The testimony was used to back the prosecution’s position that VX was used in the murder and was the sole cause of death, a scenario defense lawyers disputed this week.
Raja said VX will degrade when it reacts with water, leaving the detectable by-products, and a person can fully decontaminate their hands by washing and scrubbing within 15 minutes.
He explained that the VX nerve agent would cause complications leading to respiratory failure and could cause death.
The VX-tainted evidence from Kim’s body and clothing was presented in court Wednesday in sealed plastic bags, and the lawyers and court officials wore surgical masks and gloves as they viewed it.
The report described the victim’s body as covered with tattoos.
“What if a drop of VX came to contact with human skin?”
“If you compare the two, the absorption rate for the poison is faster through the eyes than the face”.
They were accused of poisoning the estranged half brother of North Korea’s ruler arrived for the beginning of their trial Monday in Malaysia’s High Court, almost eight months after the brazen airport assassination.
“I’m pretty sure they’re going to do an ICBM test”, Klingner said.
“His vital signs at that time showed an irregular heartbeat and his blood pressure went high and then low”, he said.
However, Dr Raja warned that viewing the shirt in an open space was risky as the VX nerve agent’s presence might be still active.
Dr Raja also said that airports in Malaysia did not have any device that could detect chemical weapons like VX nerve agent.
The USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier along with a guided-missile cruiser and a nuclear-powered submarine are on their way to the Korean Peninsula to prepare for a potential war with North Korea, while Pyongyang reportedly plans new missiles tests.
Kim, the eldest son of the family that has ruled North Korea since its founding, had been living overseas for years.
A Central Intelligence Agency officer said Kim Jong Un is a “rational actor” and not a madman as described by President Donald Trump, according to comments made on Wednesday at George Washington University, Agence France-Presse reported.