Suspects to plead innocent over Kim Jong Nam's assassination

Suspects to plead innocent over Kim Jong Nam's assassination”

Two women accused of poisoning the estranged half-brother of North Korea's ruler in a freaky airport assassination arrived at a Malaysian court for a pretrial proceeding Friday.

Shah Alam High Court judge Justice Azmi Ariffin set the date for the trial, reports The Malaysian Star daily.

Prosecutor Muhammad Iskandar Ahmad said 30 to 40 witnesses would be called.

They allegedly committed the offense at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) Departure Hall at about 9am on February 13, according to Section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries a mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

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The two women allegedly smeared his face with the toxic VX nerve agent, a chemical deemed by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction.

Doan smiled during the hearing, but Siti Aisyah was in tears afterwards, with her lawyers seen trying to calm her. Defence lawyers have warned previously that they feared "trial by ambush", with police not sharing evidence. However the North Korean government has vehemently denied poisoning Kim Jong-nam, with officials claiming he most likely died of a heart attack.

The murder - which took place as Kim Jong-Nam was about to board a flight to Macau - sparked a serious diplomatic row between Malaysia and North Korea, with Kuala Lumpur expelling the North's ambassador and Pyongyang banning Malaysians from leaving the country.

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