Jong-nam murder trial: Defence counsel claims no common intention proven

SHAH ALAM: The prosecution has failed to prove that there was common intention between the two accused in committing the alleged murder of Kim Chol (Kim Jong-nam), who was the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother, claimed a defence counsel.

Counsel Gooi Soon Seng submitted at the High Court here that his client Siti Aisyah, 26, was never jointly charged for having the intention with the second accused Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 29.

Gooi said Siti Aisyah was accused with four others still at large and they were not named in the charge.

“The purpose of the charge is to give clear nature of the offence in the course of trial. The prosecution does not understand the charge and the charge is vague.

“The case is only circumstantial and there was no direct evidence. No witnesses saw what actually happened. The evidence was only based on the CCTV footage,” he said in his submission before High Court judge Justice Azmi Ariffin on Wednesday (June 27).

Describing the investigation as shoddy, he said the prosecution relied on two points which were the CCTV footage and the existence of degradation product of VX on a sleeveless white T-shirt purportedly worn by Siti Aisyah.

He pointed out that the T-shirt did not have traces of her DNA and there was also no traces of the chemicals found under her fingernails.

“The prosecution must prove that my client wore the T-shirt on that day of the incident,” he said.

Gooi was giving his submission at the end of the prosecution’s case in the murder trial of Siti Aisyah and Doan who were accused of murdering Kim Chol, 45, by smearing his face with a poison-laced cloth.

The offence was said to have committed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) at 9pm on Feb 13, 2017.

Four other North Korean men were jointly charged with them, though they have left Malaysia.

Kim Chol is the alias used by Kim Jong-nam.

All the accused were charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code which carries a mandatory death sentence if found guilty of murder.

Gooi claimed that investigating officer Asst Supt Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz, 40, admitted during trial that he could not find a motive behind the murder.

Gooi argued that a motive was an important issue for them as it related to common intention, adding that the only probable in this case was a political assassination.

Meanwhile, Doan’s counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik submitted that based on the evidence adduced, the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case of murder.

“The reasons are my client has no motive to cause injuries, let alone caused the death of Kim Chol,” he said.

Teh said he also adopted the submission by Gooi who argued that it was a very shoddy investigation by the investigating officer and the prosecution has failed to prove the element of common intention.

He claimed that the actual assassins were the North Koreans.

“Although motive is not an ingredient of murder, motive is still relevant consideration. The prosecution’s case is strengthened if motive is proved.

“The prosecution must prove that the second accused (Doan) knew or had knowledge that the liquid was applied onto her palm by Ri Ji Hyon also known as, “Mr Y”, capable of causing injuries or death,” he said.

The hearing continues on Thursday and the prosecution is expected to reply to the submission by the defence.

Kim Jong nam , Murder Trial , Court Cae