Police Reveal Four More Suspected Accomplices in Kim Jong Nam Killing

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Doan Thi Huong is escorted by police officers as she arrives for a court hearing in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, on Thursday.
Two men gave the women accused of murdering Kim Jong Nam liquid substances to put on their hands moments before the assault in February that killed the half-brother of North Korea’s dictator, police testified.

A Malaysian police officer taking the stand for the second day on Thursday identified by aliases four men prosecutors say colluded with the women to kill Mr. Kim at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb. 13.

Based on previous police identifications, at least some of those men are North Koreans who fled Malaysia on the day of that attack and who, South Korean intelligence officials said, work for ministries in Pyongyang.

Investigating police officer Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz told the courtroom that shortly before the attack on Mr. Kim in a crowded departures hall, a man identified as “Chang” spread a substance onto the hands of Siti Aisyah, a 25-year-old Indonesian defendant in the case. He said another man, identified as “Y,” did the same for the other defendant, 29-year-old Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam.

Mr. Wan Azirul said his information was based on statements the women made to police separately after their arrests in Kuala Lumpur in February.

“Mr. Y played the role as the individual who applied a liquid on Huong’s hand,” Mr. Wan Azirul told the court. “Mr. Y also played the role of buying the taxi coupon for Huong.” Both Ms. Huong and Ms. Aisyah departed the airport by taxi shortly after the attack, police say.

Mr. Wan Azirul also presented new security footage from airport closed-circuit television shortly before the attack showing a woman appearing to be Ms. Huong walking into the airport with the man identified as Y, and Ms. Aisyah sitting in a cafe with the man identified as Chang. Both men wore baseball caps in the videos, with their faces largely hidden from cameras.

Ms. Aisyah and Ms. Huong are accused of colluding with four accomplices to murder Mr. Kim, a crime that carries the death penalty in Malaysia. Malaysian authorities have said the women acted under the direction of a team of North Koreans to kill Mr. Kim by exposing him to deadly VX nerve agent. Defense lawyers say the women thought they were filming a prank for a television show. Both have pleaded not guilty, and North Korea denies involvement.

Prosecutors in the trial haven’t identified the four alleged accomplices in the case, and on Thursday police used only aliases in naming them for the first time in the trial as Chang, Y, James and Hanamori.

Prior to the trial, however, police named Chang as a suspect and identified him as Hong Song Hac, a 33-year-old North Korean who once worked as a diplomat at the North Korean embassy in Indonesia. Police had also named James a suspect and identified him as Ri Ji U, a North Korean around the age of 30. On Thursday, police said the younger of the two acted as Ms. Aisyah’s recruiter in the plot, something her legal team also contends.

A short video shot by Ms. Aisyah and posted to her Facebook page this year shows her sitting with Mr. Ri outside Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

The identities of the other two men named by aliases Y and Hanamori on Thursday weren’t immediately clear.

Malaysian police previously identified several other North Koreans as suspects in the case, including O Jong Gil, Ri Jae Nam and Ri Ji Hyon, the son of a former North Korean ambassador to Vietnam.

Ri Jae Nam and O Jong Gil, both in their 50s, along with Hong Song Hac and Ri Ji Hyon, flew out of Kuala Lumpur on the day of the killing, Malaysian authorities said. At Malaysia’s request, all four were placed on an Interpol wanted list.

Police previously said that Ri Ji U remained in Malaysia after the attack, but was allowed to depart despite his status as a suspect as part of an exchange with North Korea for Malaysian diplomats trapped in Pyongyang.

South Korea has said all five men work for North Korean’s state security and foreign ministries.

The trial now goes into a weeklong recess. Mr. Wan Azirul is scheduled to resume testimony on Oct. 24, when proceedings move to the airport.

Originally Posted on SuchTv

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