Defense in Kim Jong Nam murder case fear 'trial by ambush'

Armed policemen stand guard before the arrival of suspects charged with the murder of Kim Jong Nam, at a Sepang court, April 13, 2017.

The three North Koreans were allowed to return to Pyongyang late last month, along with the body of Kim Jong Nam, as part of a swap deal with North Korea, which had banned nine Malaysians from leaving the country in a diplomatic spat.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, from Vietnam, were taken to the Sepang magistrate's court located close to the airport where Kim Jong-Nam was fatally poisoned on February 13.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Lawyers for two women accused of murdering Kim Jong Nam say Malaysian police still have not provided them with security camera footage and documents crucial to the defense.

"The real culprit has escaped and the people who have been (used) become the scapegoats", Gooi said.

Prosecutors are expected to apply for the case to be transferred to an upper court, where the women would be tried for murder.

The women were charged on March 1 along with four men, who Malaysian police have identified as North Koreans who left Kuala Lumpur for Pyongyang on the day of the killing.

Vietnamese suspect Doan Thi Huong, right, arrested in the death of Kim Jong Nam, is escorted by police officers as she leaves a court house in Sepang, Malaysia, on Thursday.

Lawyers for Aishah and Huong told the Malaysian magistrate court that police had not responded to requests to provide evidence, including CCTV recordings and statements from three North Korean suspects that were allowed to leave the country.

Four other North Koreans have also been identified by Malaysian police as suspects. If found guilty, they could face the death penalty, which is carried out by hanging in Malaysia.

"All of us believe she was cheated", he said.

Although Malaysia never directly accused North Korea of carrying out the attack, speculation is rampant that Pyongyang orchestrated a hit on a long-exiled member of its ruling elite.

Gooi said Hong asked Aisyah to do several more pranks at the Kuala Lumpur airport a few days before Kim was attacked.

Tram Hux Hoang, a cousin of the Vietnamese suspect, said she is doing well in prison and had even gained weight.

Malaysia's decision to allow the suspects to leave came despite Prime Minister Najib Razak saying his government believed strongly in the principles of justice and sovereignty and that investigations into the murder would continue.

  • Leroy Wright