Malaysia to charge two women suspects with Kim Jong-nam’s murder

If found guilty of killing the half-brother of North Korea's leader, the women from Indonesia and Vietnam could face the death penalty. Pyongyang is sending a delegation to Kuala Lumpur to claim his body.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

CCTV on February 13, 2017 shows Kim Jong-nam (in grey suit) speaking to airport authorities at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Malaysian prosecutors will charge two women detained earlier in connection with their alleged involvement in the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.

Kim, who had criticised the regime of his family, was killed at Kuala Lumpur airport earlier this month after two women allegedly smeared his face with VX nerve agent, a chemical described by the UN as a weapon of mass destruction.

Kim's death has sparked a diplomatic row between Malaysia and North Korea. Pyongyang said on Tuesday it is sending a high-level delegation to Kuala Lumpur to seek the return of Kim's body. 

TRT World spoke to journalist Zan Azlee, who is following the story from Kuala Lumpur.

Attorney general Mohamed Apandi Ali said the two women suspects, an Indonesian and a Vietnamese, "will be charged in court under Section 302 (murder) of the penal code."

They will appear in court on Wednesday. If found guilty they could face death by hanging.

In leaked CCTV footage, two women were seen shoving something into Kim's face at the airport's Terminal 2 on the night of the murder. The 45-year-old suffered a seizure and died before he reached hospital.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 28, say they thought they were taking part in the making of a prank video.

A third suspect, 46-year-old North Korean man Ri Jong-Chol, was also arrested following the February 13 attack.

The attorney general did not say if Ri would be charged.

South Korean officials believe the murder was carried out by North Korean agents. Malaysia has identified eight North Koreans suspected of involvement in the killing.

TRTWorld and agencies