Malaysia: Kim Jong Nam case to go to high court
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Malaysia: Kim Jong Nam case to go to high court

TWO FEMALE suspects arrested for the murder the North Korean dictator’s estranged half-brother brother Kim Jong Nam will have their case heard in a Malaysian High Court.

After Indonesian national Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, from Vietnam attended court with armed escort on Tuesday, a magistrate decided that the case should be transferred to Shah Alam High Court in Selangor.

The trial has been moved after being delayed twice due to the prosecution’s request for evidence and document compilation, reports The Straits Times. As the women faced court in April, their lawyers said they feared “a trial by ambush” with police not sharing evidence.

If convicted, both women face death penalty for murdering Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 on Feb 13, as the brother of Kim Jong Un attempted to fly to Macau.

SEE ALSO: Kim Jong Nam murder suspects fear ‘trial by ambush’, lawyer tells court

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Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong (L) and Indonesian Siti Aishah are seen in this combination picture from undated handouts released by the Royal Malaysia Police to Reuters on Feb 19, 2017. Source: Reuters

The two women allegedly smeared Jong Nam‘s face with the toxic VX nerve agent, a chemical classed by as a weapon of mass destruction.

US and South Korean officials say the murder was orchestrated by the North’s leader Jong Un. Jong Nam, the eldest son of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, had spoken out publicly against his family’s dynastic control of the isolated, nuclear-armed nation.

Aisyah and Huong have told diplomats from their countries that they had believed they were carrying out a prank for a reality television show, and not a murder.

Both were young migrant workers, who originated from rural areas in their home countries and are believed to have been working in the red light district of the Malaysian capital.

SEE ALSO: Malaysia: North Korean restaurant closes after Jong Nam assassination

Anis Hisayat from NGO Migrant Care told the BBC that Aisyah’s “story is very similar to what has happened to many other migrants who were tricked by drug syndicates. They are caught and viewed as criminals but they are really victims.”

“Half of the Indonesian migrants now on death row in Malaysia are such victims who were used as couriers by drug syndicates at airports,” she said.

The case has caused a diplomatic impasse between the two countries, which saw Malaysia deport some 140 North Korean workers last month.