The two women accused of the assassinating the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have pleaded not guilty at the start of the high-profile murder trial in a Malaysian court on Monday.
Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, a Vietnamese, are charged with killing Kim Jong-nam by smearing his face with VX, a chemical poison at the Kuala Lumpur’s international airport on 13 February.
The late estranged half-brother of North Korean leader was on his way back to his home in the Chinese territory of Macau when he was attacked with VX, a banned chemical poison under the 1993 chemical weapons convention.
The two women who are charged with murder under section 302 of the Malaysian criminal code, which carries a mandatory death sentence arrived at court Monday wearing bullet proof vests with their eyes downcast, surrounded by heavy police presence.
After two interpreters read the charges to the women in the Shah Alam court, the interpreters told the court that the women pleaded not guilty.
The prosecution said their actions showed “intent to kill the victim” by smearing his face and eyes with VX nerve agent, which a post-mortem confirmed had killed Kim. They also told the court that four North Koreans who are at large helped the accused women carry out several practice runs in Kuala Lumpur shopping malls.
The women, however, told their lawyers they did not know they were participating in a deadly attack and believed they were carrying out a prank for a reality TV show.
If found guilty, the accused women will face a mandatory death sentence.