The two women accused of killing the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader are trained assassins who carried out a murder that “can only be seen in James Bond movies”, prosecutors have said.
Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong, from Vietnam, claim they were duped by North Korean agents into thinking they were playing a prank for a hidden camera show.
They have pleaded not guilty to rubbing the toxic VX nerve agent into Kim Jong Nam’s eyes and face at Kuala Lumpur airport on 13 February 2017.
Mr Kim died within two hours and the women are the only suspects in custody. Four men who fled the country on the day of the assassination have been named by a police investigator.
Doan called herself an actress, while Aisyah was a masseuse.
Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin said: “This type of assassination can only be seen in James Bond movies and the two girls were not randomly picked as a scapegoat.
“They knew what they had to do and they achieved in doing it.
“There is no room for failure. Only selected and trained individuals can ensure success.”
Defence lawyers said the women had no motive to kill Mr Kim, nor were they aware they were handling poison. They said their clients were innocent pawns in a high-profile political assassination by North Korea.
The judge set a ruling for 16 August to decide whether the women should enter their defence or be acquitted.
Mr Shaharuddin said the women were in the know because they deliberately targeted Mr Kim’s eyes and hastily washed their hands after the attack.
An expert has testified that the eyes are the best route of entry for the poison to spread, and that VX can be washed off within 15 minutes of exposure without causing any symptoms.
He said: “The conduct of the two accused was to get the attack done quickly without timely reaction from Mr Kim… therefore they must be aggressive otherwise (Mr Kim) might block the act of applying the dangerous substance and their mission would eventually fail.”
He said it could be inferred from security video footage that the two attacked at the same time to ensure “their plan succeeded with flying colours”.
Aisyah’s lawyer Gooi Soon Seng said in his rebuttal to the prosecution that the case was based on “flimsy evidence” with many “doubts and gaps”.
Huong’s lawyer Naran Singh said the women would not have just walked fast but would have “run for their life” to wash their hands after the attack if they knew they had poison on their hands.
Mr Kim, the eldest son in the family that has ruled North Korea since its founding, had been living abroad for years after falling out of favour. It is thought he could have been seen as a threat to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s rule.
Malaysian officials have never officially accused North Korea of involvement and have made it clear they do not want the trial politicised.