Defence lawyer slams Malaysian police over Kim murder probe

PHOTO: AFP

SHAH ALAM, Malaysia - The Malaysian police's investigation into the murder of the North Korean leader's estranged half brother was "shoddy" and could lead to an unfair trial, a court heard Wednesday.

Defence lawyer Gooi Soon Seng, on the 32nd day of the trial of suspects in the Cold War-style killing of Kim Jong Nam, sought to discredit the manner in which the police conducted their probe.

Kim, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was poisoned at Kuala Lumpur's international airport in February last year while he was about the take a flight to Macau.

Two young women - Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong - are on trial for allegedly smearing the banned nerve agent VX on the face of Kim, who died in agony minutes later.

Kim had been living in exile since a family fallout.

Kim Jong-nam murder trial: 2 women plead not guilty

  • Indonesian Siti Aisyah who is on trial for the killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, is escorted as she leaves the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia October 3, 2017.
  • Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong who is on trial for the killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, is escorted as she leaves the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia October 3, 2017.
  • Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong and Indonesian Siti Aisyah who are on trial for the killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, are escorted as they leave the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia October 3, 2017.
  • Two women accused of assassinating the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with a banned nerve agent pleaded not guilty at the start of a high-profile murder trial in a Malaysian court
  • 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 banned by the United Nations, at Kuala Lumpur's international airport on Feb. 13.
  • Both women wore bullet-proof vest as they were led into the court on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital. They face the death penalty if convicted.
  • The women have pleaded not guilty, saying they thought they were involved in some sort of prank for a reality TV show.
  • Police cars transporting Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, who are accused of killing Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, arrive at the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia October 2, 2017.
  • Journalists wait to enter the Shah Alam High Court, where Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong are on trial for the killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia October 2, 2017.
  • Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia Rusdi Kirana speaks to journalists at the Shah Alam High Court, where Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong are on trial for the killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia October 2, 2017.
  • Hisyam Teh Toh Teik, one of the lawyers for Vietnamese woman Doan Thi Huong, speaks to journalists during a break in the trial for Huong and Indonesian woman Siti Aisyah, at the Shah Alam High Court in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur on October 2, 2017, for their alleged role in the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
  • Hisyam Teh Toh Teik, Salim Bashir and Naran Singh, lawyers for Vietnamese woman Doan Thi Huong, speak to journalists during a break in the trial for Huong and Indonesian woman Siti Aisyah, at the Shah Alam High Court in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur on October 2, 2017, for their alleged role in the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
  • Gooi Soon Seng, a lawyer for Indonesian defendant Siti Aisyah, walks out during a break in the trial of Aisyah and Vietnamese woman Doan Thi Huong at the Shah Alam High Court in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur on October 2, 2017, for their alleged role in the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

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.

Gooi, questioning the case's chief police investigating officer Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz, said police failed to investigate certain evidence and denied him access to his client Aisyah during her initial 14-day detention.

The defence lawyer said that during Wednesday's hearing, police showed the court only bits and pieces of closed-circuit television footage of the murder which did not paint an accurate picture of what happened.

"I put it to you that your failure to copy all the footages from the CCTV server... had compromised the defence of Siti (Aisyah)," Gooi told Wan Azirul, who is being presented as a prosecution witness.

He also pointed out that video footage in the aftermath of the killing showed his client adjusting her sunglasses after the attack on Kim, contrary to a police report which said she was walking fast with her hands far apart.

This was important because if she had smeared VX on Kim's face using her hands, she would have also poisoned herself when when she touched her glasses, according to Gooi.

Aisyah's jeans and glasses were not sent for laboratory tests and the chemistry department tests showed that her finger nail cuttings, nail swabs and blood had no traces of VX, Gooi told the court.

"The failure to investigate certain evidence and not to allow lawyers access to Aisyah during her initial 14-day police detention have resulted in a lopsided and shoddy investigation," Gooi told AFP after the morning session.

"Aisyah now does not get a fair trial as her defence is compromised."

The brazen daylight assassination unleashed diplomatic shockwaves and widespread condemnation of North Korea.

More about
Kim Jong Nam

VIDEOS TO WATCH

SERVICES