THE Indonesian embassy in Malaysia has sent a team of specialists in the area of chemicals and poisons to be observers in North Korean Kim Jong-nam’s murder trial today.
Indonesian Siti Aishah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong have been charged with the murder of Jong-nam at klia2 on February 13 by wiping his face with VX, a chemical that the United Nations has described as a “weapon of mass destruction”.
However, Indonesian authorities say they are unconvinced that the substance was the cause of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother’s death.
“(The specialists) will observe because they are doubtful that the chemical is able to kill,” a source from the Indonesian embassy told The Malaysian Insight outside the Shah Alam High Court today.
Siti Aisyah and Doan arrived at the courthouse at 8am, and were seen wearing bulletproof vests while escorted by police’s special forces.
Both appeared calm as they face the first day of the trial, which is expected to go on for 23 days and has garnered international attention.
Defence lawyers are expected to start the trial by questioning why they were not allowed to speak to three North Koreans allegedly implicated in the brazen assassination.
The three, including a diplomat, had sought refuge at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur after Jong-nam’s murder. They were wanted for questioning by Malaysian authorities, but North Korea refused to cooperate, claiming that Jong-nam died of a heart attack.
In a deal between Pyongyang and Putrajaya, the three North Koreans, as well as Jong-nam’s remains, were exchanged for the safe return of nine Malaysians who had been barred from leaving North Korea.
Reporters from local and international media began gathering outside the courthouse from as early as 1am, but were told that only 20 seats had been allocated inside the courtroom for the media.
Reporters are not allowed to bring electronic devices into the courtroom, while photographers are barred from entering the court area. – October 2, 2017.