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Kim Jong-nam death: Two women to face murder charges

Composite photo of Doan Thi Huong and Siti AisyahImage copyright Reuters/AFP
Image caption Doan Thi Huong (left) and Siti Aisyah have said they thought they were taking part in a TV prank

Two women implicated in the killing of the estranged brother of North Korea’s leader are to be charged with murder on Wednesday, Malaysia’s prosecutor says.

Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali said the women – from Indonesia and Vietnam – would be formally charged and could face death if convicted.

The women allegedly smeared a deadly chemical over Kim Jong-nam’s face at a Malaysia airport earlier this month.

They have said they thought they were taking part in a TV prank.

“They will be charged in court under Section 302 of the penal code,” the attorney general said, confirming that they would face a mandatory death sentence if found guilty.

He said no decision had yet been taken on whether to charge a North Korean man, who is also being held over the killing.

Who in North Korea could organise a VX murder?

What is South Korea’s take on the killing?

Unravelling the mystery of Kim Jong-nam’s death

The two women – Doan Thi Huong, 28, from Vietnam and Siti Aisyah, 25, from Indonesia – are among some 10 suspects identified by Malaysia as being involved in the killing.

The suspects include a senior official at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur and a staff member of the state airline. South Korea believes at least four suspects are North Korean spies.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Kim Jong-nam had lived outside North Korea for many years

Kim Jong-nam, a long-time critic of his family’s grip on power in North Korea, was accosted while waiting at a check-in desk at Kuala Lumpur airport on 13 February.

He was smeared with a very high amount of the toxic nerve agent VX and died in pain within 15-20 minutes, Malaysia’s health minister said on Sunday.

Media captionKim Jong-nam was poisoned with an extraordinarily potent chemical weapon called VX

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