Court says Jong-nam murder accused must explain suspicious conduct.
The two women accused of murdering Kim Chol or Kim Jong-nam last year were ordered to enter their defence by a High Court in Shah Alam on Thursday.
Prosecutors told the court the women’s actions showed that they intended to cause Jong-nam’s death.
Justice Azmi Ariffin ruled that the prosecution had proven a prima facie case against Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 26, and Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, 29.
He said the prosecution had proven all elements in their case.
“Thus, I now order both to enter their defence,” he said after delivering the two-and-a-half hour judgment which began at 10am.
Justice Azmi Ariffin said after going through a voluminous number of closed-circuit television recordings (CCTV), he found that both Siti and Doan were behaving “very different” before and after the alleged “attack” on Jong-nam.
“Doan and Siti were seen very relaxed before executing the alleged offence on Kim, but they were then seen rushing to the toilet in level two in the airport, from level three where the said attack took place.
“I cannot help but find two contrasting expressions from them.
“Were they rushing down to level two from level three and holding their hands away from them? Did they want to avoid being seen by Jong-nam and risk being arrested?” he said in pointing out the conduct of Siti and Doan in February last year.
He added that after they had cleaned their hands in the toilet, Siti and Doan were seen behaving as their usual self.
Meanwhile, Azmi said, the court did not rule out the possibility of a political assassination.
“Counsels for the two women have argued extensively that the ‘real killers’ are the North Koreans who were only identified as Mr Chang, Mr Y, Hanamori and James.
“However, they left Malaysia a few hours after Kim’s death and no statements have been recorded from them.”
Therefore, he said, “in all fairness’, given the lack of such evidence, he could rule not whether this was a political assassination case.
Siti and Doan were charged with four others still at large with killing Kim Chol, 45, by smearing his face with the VX nerve agent.
The offence was allegedly committed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) departure hall at 9am on Feb 13 last year.
Kim Chol was the alias used by Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, when he travelled.
Four other North Korean men were jointly charged with them, but they left the country before they could be detained.
About 30 witnesses testified throughout the trial which ran from October 2017 to April this year.
Siti is expected to make her defence on Nov 1 while Doan is expected to testify from Jan 7.
If convicted, the duo could face the death penalty.