Jong-nam murder trial: Identities of four other accused not disclosed

  • Nation
  • Monday, 02 Oct 2017

Naran Singh (right) and Hisyam Teh Poh Teik (left) lawyers for Vietnam Doan Thi Huong speak to journalists on the first day trial.

SHAH ALAM: The defence team of Doan Thi Huong, the Vietnamese woman accused of killing Kim Jong-nam, says that they were kept in the dark over the identities of four other individuals accused of the same crime.

One of the lawyers for Doan Thi Huong, 29, said it was unfair for the prosecution not to disclose their details as this would create a disadvantage for the defence.

"Even before this, we requested for their particulars on more than one occasion, but they refused to disclose it. We do not understand why," said lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik at Shah Alam High Court compound when the court was adjourned for recess on Monday.

According to the charge sheet, Doan was charged with killing Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, along with Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and four other unidentified individuals.

Both women were charged separately under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

Asked if High Court judge Justice Azmi Ariffin deemed the names "irrelevant", defence counsel Salim Bashir said no.

"He only said that the non-disclosure of the four individuals does not prejudice the defence case," he said.

Another lawyer, Datuk Naran Singh, said that was raised during their argument in court Monday morning.

"Our client was charged with four others – sharing common intention to cause the death of the deceased.

"We are entitled to know their identities, the law says so. But the judge was not persuaded by that," he said.

Meanwhile, Siti Aisyah's lawyer Gooi Soon Seng said their defence team shared the same concerns.

"We object to the charges on the grounds of common intention," he said.

Both Doan and Siti Aisyah were charged with with murdering Jong-nam at KLIA2 on Feb 13 by smearing his face with VX, a chemical the United States describes as a weapon of mass destruction.

On March 16, the then Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the police had obtained an Interpol red notice for the arrest of four North Koreans believed to be involved in the killing.

The four North Koreans sought were Rhi Ji-hyon, 33; Hong Song-hac, 34; O Jong-gil, 55, and Ri Jae-nam, 57.

They entered the country separately days before the incident and left for Jakarta from KLIA2 just after Jong-nam's assassination.
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