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Prosecutor: Suspects in Kim Jong Nam death are trained killers

The Associated Press

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, center, is escorted by police as she leaves court after hearing at Shah Alam High Court in Shah Alam, Malaysia, on Thursday.

The Associated Press SHAH ALAM, Malaysia (AP) — Two Southeast Asian women on trial for killing the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader are trained assassins who used “criminal force” to rub the toxic VX nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam’s eyes and face, prosecutors said in their closing arguments Thursday.

The women’s claim that they were duped by North Korean agents into thinking they were playing a harmless prank for a hidden camera show was an “ingenious attempt ... to cover up their sinister plot in order to obscure the eyes of the public and the court,” prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin told the court.

Indonesia’s Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam, who face the death penalty if convicted, have pleaded not guilty to murdering Kim in a crowded airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur on Feb. 13, 2017. Kim died within two hours. The women are the only suspects in custody, although prosecutors say they colluded with four North Korean suspects who fled the country on the day of the assassination.

Doan called herself an actress, while Aisyah was a masseur. Wan Shaharuddin said it was “not impossible for someone to lead a double life.”

“This type of assassination can only be seen in James Bond movies and the two girls were not randomly picked as a scapegoat. They knew what they had to do and they achieved in doing it,” Wan Shaharuddin said. “There is no room for failure. Only selected and trained individuals can ensure success.”

Defense lawyers said the women had no motive to kill Kim nor were they aware they were handling poison. They said their clients were innocent pawns in a high-profile political assassination by North Korea.

The judge set a ruling for Aug. 16 to decide whether the women should enter their defense or be acquitted.

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