Reuters KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) — Malaysia on Wednesday charged two women — an Indonesian and a Vietnamese — with murdering the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader in an assassination using a super-toxic nerve agent that killed in minutes.
Siti Aishah, a 25-year-old mother of one from Jakarta, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, from rural northern Vietnam, could be hanged if they are convicted for the killing of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb. 13.
Police brought the two women to court handcuffed. As they left, they were made to wear bullet-proof vests, reflecting Malaysian authorities’ fears that others involved in the killing could want the women silenced.
No plea was recorded after the charges were read out against them.
But, Aishah and Huong have told diplomats who visited them in custody that they were unwitting pawns in an assassination that U.S. officials and South Korean intelligence have said was organised by North Korean agents.
Huong’s lawyer told reporters outside the court that his client had told him she was innocent.
“She denied. She denied. She said ‘I’m innocent,’” Selvam Shanmugam said.
“Of course, she’s definitely distressed because she is facing death penalty,” he added.