Kim Jong Nam death: Malaysia to charge two women with murder

Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam, left, and Siti Aisyah of Indonesia

Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam, left, and Siti Aisyah of Indonesia

Malaysian prosecutors will charge two women with murder over their alleged involvement in the killing of the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, the country's attorney general said on Tuesday.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong will be formally charged on Wednesday under section 302 of the penal code.

They are accused of smeared VX nerve agent, a chemical described by the UN as a weapon of mass destruction, across the face of Kim Jong Nam, at an airport in Kuala Lumpur on February 13.

Attorney general Mohamed Apandi Ali said Tuesday the charges against the women would bring a mandatory death sentence if they are convicted. 

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US and South Korean officials believe Kim Jong Nam was the victim of an assassination orchestrated by North Korea.

He had criticised the regime of his family and his half-brother Kim Jong Un in the past and had been living in exile, under Beijing's protection, in the Chinese territory of Macau.

While Malaysian police arrested Doan Thi Huong and Siti Aisyah in the days after the attack, they are are also holding one North Korean man and have identified seven other North Koreans wanted in connection with the case.

Attorney general Mohamed Apandi Ali said the North Korean in custody will not be charged yet. His remand period ends on Friday.

The security camera footage, which has been released in the media, showed two women assaulting Kim Jong Nam in the departure hall of Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and the victim stumbling into a medical clinic. He died within 20 minutes of the assault.

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Both women have told diplomats from their countries they had been paid to take part in what they believed was a prank for a reality TV show.

- AP, Reuters

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