Đoàn Thị Hương, a Vietnamese woman suspected of murdering Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) citizen Kim Chol, pled not guilty at the start of the trial in Malaysia on Monday.— Photo Reuters
SHAH ALAM — Đoàn Thị Hương, a Vietnamese woman suspected of murdering Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) citizen Kim Chol, pled not guilty at the start of the trial in Malaysia on Monday.
Indonesian citizen Siti Aisyah, another suspect in the murder, also professed her innocence.
The two defendants entered their pleas through interpreters at the Sham Alam High Court, outside the capital of Kuala Lumpur.
The murder charge was read to them in their native languages. The two were accused of having "intention to kill" the North Korean at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13.
Four other suspects were also accused in the charge sheet.
Evidence that the two defendants used the toxic VX nerve agent, which led to the death of Kim, was shown.
At the trial, both the Vietnamese citizen and Indonesian citizen denied the charge and claimed that they had been duped into believing they were participating in a prank for a reality TV show.
Defence lawyers urged the court to reveal the identities of the four other suspects, who were accused of having fled to Korea. However, the court refused the request.
The interpreter for Hương at the trial said the defendant was in stable condition and good health.
The two suspects arrived at court in handcuffs and wearing bulletproof coats, according to AFP.
The suspects were arrested several days after Kim Chol, according to the name on his passport, died at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13.
Previously, at a court hearing on March 1, the two women were charged with murder, however, they denied the charge.
They face the death penalty if convicted.
Judge Azmi Ariffin said that the trial will last 23 days. The court will summon some 30 witnesses and 10 specialists during the hearing.
As many as 200 police personnel have been mobilised to guard the court.
Under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ guidelines, the Việt Nam Embassy in Malaysia will work with Vietnamese agencies and Malaysian lawyers to assure a fair and objective trial and to ensure the rights of Đoàn Thị Hương. – VNS