Lawyer Slams Kim Jong-nam Probe as “Shoddy” as Trial Resumes

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Investigation into the assassination of Kim Jong-nam was “shoddy” and “lopsided”.

The Shah Alam High Court heard that the prosecution had failed to prove the accused had the common intention to murder Kim Jong nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

In his submission, defence lawyer Gooi Soon Seng for Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 26, said his client was never jointly charged with the second accused, Doan Thi Huong, 29, from Vietnam, as the prosecution failed to prove they had the common intention to murder Kim Jong-nam.

“The first accused was never jointly charged with the second accused. But she was charged with four others who were never named and still at large,” Gooi told Judge Azmi Ariffin.

He also called the investigation done by ASP Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz a “shoddy” one.

“The case by the prosecution is based on circumstantial evidence with no direct evidence, mostly based on klia2’s closed-circuit television camera (CCTV). The prosecution only relied on two points – the CCTV footage and the degradation product of VX (the chemical which killed Kim Jong Nam) found on the sleeveless top which was worn by Siti Aisyah,” he said.

Gooi added that in the CCTV footage the purported “attack” is not clear and all is seen is a someone rubbing something into a man’s face.

“It is pure conjecture when the prosecution said the accused went to the toilet and washed her hands. There is no footage showing her going to the toilet. There were no traces of the chemical found in the toilet nor on the trail that she took.”

He also emphasised that the sleeveless white t-shirt that was allegedly worn by Siti Aisyah did not have any traces of her DNA and no traces of the chemical was found under her fingernails.

“The prosecution must prove she was wearing the t-shirt on the day of the incident. But there were no traces of her DNA found compared to the shirt worn by the second accused. If traces of the chemical was found on the shirt, you should find traces of DNA. Was this shirt really worn by the accused?” Gooi raised in court.

Gooi recalled the testimony given by the investigating officer where the t-shirt was said to have been bagged into a black plastic bag but the chemist had claimed to have received it in a transparent bag.

He also pointed out that the investigating officer failed to check his client’s mobile phone that was confiscated which would have shed light to the incident in which she thought she was just playing a prank.

Voon Chong/AP Photo

She had sent messages to friends and family about her being an actress, and hoped for her contract to be extended.

The failure by the investigating officer contributed to gaps in the whole story which will be a mystery as the North Koreans who were seen on the CCTV footage have since left Malaysia, Gooi added.

Defence lawyers have argued that the women were recruited to take part in what they thought were prank TV shows but were instead tricked into becoming inadvertent assassins, in an elaborate plot by a group of North Korean agents.

Siti Aisyah and Doan, along with four others still at large, were charged with murdering Kim-chol or Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of Kim Jong-un, using the deadly nerve agent VX at the departure hall of the KL International Airport 2 (klia2) at 9am on Feb 13, 2017.

The charge, under Section 302 of the Penal Code, carries a mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

Siti Aisyah was represented by lawyers Gooi Soon Seng, S Selvi and Azura Alias, while Doan was represented by lawyers Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, Datuk Naran Singh and Salim Bashir.

Voon Chong/AP Photo

The trial, which began last year, resumed today after a break since early April, with the accused escorted into court handcuffed and wearing bullet-proof vests.

Related reports:

Feb 10, 2018, Siti Aisyah Paid to Take Part in ‘Pranks’

Jan 13, 2018, “Evasive” Investigative Officer Denies Leaking Jong-nam’s CCTV Footages

Nov 10, 2017, Kim Jong-nam Trial: The North Korean Connection

Oct 27, 2017, Kim Jong-nam Trial: Airport Visit and CCTV Clips

Oct 15, 2017, Kim Jong-nam Trial: The Week’s Recap

Oct 10, 2017, New Video on Kim Jong-nam’s Final Moments Emerges

Oct 10, 2017, Catching Up with the Kim Jong-nam Murder Trial

Oct 2, 2017, Kim Jong-nam Murder Suspects Plead Not Guilty

Sept 27, 2017, Kim Jong-un Planned Jong-nam’s Killing for 5 Years, S Korean Spies Say

Jul 31, 2017, Jong-nam Case: Without “James”, Defending Siti Aisyah a Tall Order

May 30, 2017, Kim Jong-nam Murder Case Goes to High Court

May 26, 2017, Kim Jong-nam’s Case Just Got More Intriguing