The two women arrested and charged with the murder of Kim Jong-nam eight months ago have pleaded not guilty. Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of North Korea’s leader, was killed by a nerve agent as he waited for a flight.
The incident happened in February and two women were arrested shortly after. Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong have been accused of using the nerve agent on Kim Jong-nam. The two say they thought they were part of a TV prank.
The murder and what happened after with his body led to a diplomatic row between Malaysia and North Korea. The body of Kim Jong-nam was in Malaysia for weeks as the country waited to identify it. North Korea reportedly sent agents to the country but Malaysia released the body a month and a half later. The diplomatic row led to the two countries expelling each other’s ambassadors. The two countries also banned each other’s citizens from leaving.
The two women entered their pleas through translators and have said in the past that they thought they were participating in a TV prank. The prosecutor will look to prove that the women and four people, who are believed to have escaped the country, were all involved in the murder. The prosecutor says the women practiced in shopping malls before the attack at the airport.
Mr. Kim sought help after the attack but died minutes later. Malaysia’s investigation found that he had been killed by a nerve agent. A North Korean official later claimed that Kim Jong-nam had likely died of a heart attack and not poisoning.
The two women are the only ones that have been charged over the murder. Four North Korean suspects are said to have escaped the country after the attack.
Malaysia has detained and questioned other people. Witnesses are expected to take the stand in the trial. Some of the witnesses are said to be airport staff, who were there when the incident happened.