REALITY television pranks, bizarre codenames and mysterious money — the Kim Jong-nam murder case reaches new levels of weird.
The North Korean dictator’s estranged brother Kim Jong-nam was waiting in Kuala Lumpur international airport in February when he was struck by a mysterious female killer — who smeared him with lethal poison.
A young Vietnamese woman in a white shirt emblazoned with “LOL” on the front slipped her hands over his face while he stood at the kiosk.
Two women stand accused of the murder, but the ongoing trial has uncovered some strange details.
Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong are currently on trial in a Malaysian court.
The suspects say they are not guilty and claim they were duped into believing it really was a prank, staged for a reality television show.
There are also four suspected North Korean government agents with bizarre code names such as “Mr. Y” and “Grandpa,” who are also accused of being involved.
They all took flights out of Kuala Lumpur that morning, via a circuitous journey through Jakarta, Dubai and Russia, to get back to North Korea. However, none of them are in custody.
The group is accused of recruiting Aisyah and Thi Huong and training them for the encounter.
They even ran the women through a practice session at the airport two days before the attack, according to testimony.
Detective Wan Azirul showed a video of the session and the murder itself in court to dispel the idea the defendants were unknowingly involved in the assassination.
“She seemed to be anxious,” he said, the AP reported. “From my observation, Doan has been informed and knew what needed to be done. Even though she seemed to be in panic, she knew what to do.”
Aisyah was captured on a security camera meeting at a cafe before the attack with a man in a black baseball cap who was holding a white plastic bag and handed a taxi voucher to her before she left.
Video showed their target, Jong-nam, arriving at the check-in area at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. As he did, a woman identified as Huong approached him, clasped her hands on his face from behind and fled. There was no video showing the second suspect, but police testified that she was the person seen in the video running away, the AP reported.
The deadly poison smeared on Jong-nam’s skin was VX, a nerve agent banned by international treaty and rarely used today.
A government chemist testified that a lethal dosage was 0.142 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, the Straits Times reported — which is 1.4 times greater than the deadly amount.
The investigator also pointed out video showing the suspects rushing into separate bathrooms after the attack, each with their hands outstretched, and then to an airport taxi stand, the AP reported.
The state contends that women both ran to wash the nerve agent off after the attack. A government chemist testified that the deadly VX could have been immediately cleaned off by scrubbing and washing without causing harm to the attackers.
It did lethal damage to his brain, his lungs, his liver and his spleen. Tests showed that the VX nerve agent inhibited enzyme levels in the victim’s body, causing a breakdown in neurotransmitters that send signals to the brain and muscles.
The judge, lawyers and defendants are scheduled to visit the scene of the crime next week.