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Malaysia Police insist Kim Jong Nam murder trial can go ahead despite absence of North Korean suspects

MALAYSIAN police insisted in court today that the absence of four North Korean suspects believed to have orchestrated the killing of dynastic leader Kim Jong Un’s half brother does not prejudice the case against the two women who are on trial.

Defence lawyers say Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam and Siti Aisyah of Indonesia are scapegoats in the death of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur airport on February 13 2017.

Prosecutors say four North Korean suspects recruited the women and provided them with the banned VX nerve agent used to kill Mr Kim before fleeing the country on the same day.

Chief police investigator Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz said it was fine to go ahead with the prosecution of the two women “because, in this case, the perpetrators who committed the killing are the two accused,” he told the court.

He denied that police didn’t properly pursue the four men nor that his investigations were incomplete without their testimony. He said Interpol had issued an alert for the four men to be arrested based on Malaysia’s request.

The court has heard that the women thought they were playing a harmless prank for a hidden camera show but prosecutors contend the women knew they were handling poison. The two women were charged to have common intention with the four North Koreans to murder Mr Kim.

The women’s lawyers tried to show that Mr Wan Azirul was biased and sloppy in his investigations and failed to probe aspects that could bolster their defence that they had no intent to kill Mr Kim.

“The real culprits have left and efforts to bring them back or find them were zero,” said Ms Huong’s lawyer Naran Singh.

The trial resumes on April 2.

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