Two women to be charged with Kim’s murder

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 28 (IANS) Two women implicated in the killing of the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader will be charged with murder on Wednesday, Malaysia’s prosecutor said.

Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali said the women — from Indonesia and Vietnam — would be formally charged and could face death if convicted, BBC reported on Tuesday.

The women allegedly smeared a deadly chemical agent over Kim Jong-nam’s face at a Malaysia airport earlier this month. They thought it was a TV prank, according to reports.

“They will be charged in court under Section 302 of the penal code,” which is a murder charge with a mandatory death sentence if found guilty, the Attorney General said.

He said no decision has yet been taken on whether to charge a North Korean man, Ri Jong Chol, who is also being held over the killing.

The two women — Doan Thi Huong from Vietnam and Siti Aisyah from Indonesia — are among some 10 suspects identified by Malaysia as being involved in the killing.

The other suspects include a senior official at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur and a staff member of the state airline. South Korea claimed that at least four suspects are North Korean spies.

Meanwhile, a high-level delegation from North Korea, led by the country’s former ambassador to the UN, arrived in the Malaysian capital on Tuesday.

They were seeking the retrieval of the body, the release of Ri Jong Chol, as well as the “development of friendly relationships” between North Korea and Malaysia, BBC reported.

North Korea has not confirmed that the person killed on February 13 at Kuala Lumpur airport was Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of leader Kim Jong-un, saying only he was a North Korean travelling on a diplomatic passport.

Kim was killed at the airport when two women allegedly smeared the banned, deadly VX nerve agent on his face. He was awaiting a flight to Macau.