Jong-nam murder: Why was 'James' allowed to leave?

Saul Bowman
July 30, 2017

Prosecutors also told the court that between 30 and 40 witnesses, including 10 experts, would be called to testify at trial.

Judge Azmi Ariffin told the 30-minute hearing at the High Court in Shah Alam that the trial would begin on October 2 and would be completed within about two months. "We have written to the police for five more recordings", he said.

"Kim Jong Un is seeking the development of a credible, nuclear capability to deter what North Korea perceives to be hostility against it", he said.

High Court Judge Azmi Ariffin set October 2 as the trial date for Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, who are accused of smearing Kim Jong-nam's face with banned VX nerve agent at a crowded airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur on February 13.

North Korea's test of an intercontinental ballistic missile is a "game changer" and heightens the risk that nation will be able to hit the United States sooner than expected, said Army Gen. Vincent Brooks, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea.

Both the women were handcuffed as they appeared in the court in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur on Friday, where their trial date was set.

The women, who face the death penalty if convicted, say they were duped into thinking they were playing a harmless prank for a hidden-camera show.

Huong smiled during the hearing, but Siti Aisyah was in tears afterwards, with her lawyers seen trying to calm her.


South Korea's spy agency has claimed the murder was part of a plot set up by the leader of North Korea.

Kim, who travelled with a passport bearing the name of Kim Chol, died while on the way to Putrajaya Hospital. "She knows she is innocent".

Gooi said it included a video of a prank played by Aisyah on someone else at the airport.

Soon after their arrest, Aishah and Huong claimed they were unwitting pawns in the assassination, which the US and South Korean intelligence believe was orchestrated by Kim Jong-un or his agents.

One North Korean man was briefly held by Malaysian authorities in connection with the case, but was freed for lack of evidence.

The incident sent tensions soaring between North Korea and Malaysia, with both countries expelling each other's ambassadors and barring citizens from returning to their respective countries.

Huong, 29, was caught on airport security surveillance camera wearing a white jumper emblazoned with big black letters "LOL" - an acronym for "laughing out loud". Raised in a rice farm in northern Vietnam, her family said they had hardly heard from her since she left home a decade ago, aged just 18 years.

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