Four male suspects accused of involvement in the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, were identified for the first time in a Malaysian court on Thursday (Oct 12).
Investigating officer Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz disclosed the names and roles of the four previously unidentified suspects – who are accused of having the common intention to murder Kim along with two women accused of executing the attack at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 28 – to the High Court.
Wan Azirul, who is the ninth witness in the case, said the names were revealed by both of the women when they were quizzed by police during initial investigations.
“The four are Mr Chang, James, Mr Y and Hanamori @ Grandpa-Uncle,” he said, adding that the names are as per the charge sheet of both accused.
Wan Azirul also told deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin that Doan had mentioned the same names when identifying the four individuals.
A series of closed-circuit television (CCTV) videos were also played in court that showed both the accused women in contact with two unidentified men believed to have provided the deadly VX nerve agent that was used to kill Mr Kim Jong Nam.
Doan was seen walking in the airport with a man wearing a cap, while Siti Aisyah was seen meeting another man, also with a cap on, at a restaurant (Bibik Heritage) less than an hour before the attack.
The men’s faces, however, cannot be seen clearly.
“The man (seen) walking together with Doan is referred to as Mr Y,” he said, adding that the man had smeared a liquid, believed to be VX, onto Doan’s hands.
In another clip, Siti Aisyah was seen entering a restaurant to meet a man identified as Mr Chang. The court was told that Mr Chang had also smeared the oily substance on her hands.
Wan Azirul named the two other at-large suspects as James, who is suspected of recruiting Siti Aisyah, and Hanamori, nicknamed Grandpa-Uncle, suspected of giving orders to Mr Y.
However, he did not say whether the four suspects were the North Koreans who the Malaysian police said left Kuala Lumpur for Pyongyang on the day of the killing.
Those four men – identified as North Koreans Ri Ji Hyon, Hong Song Hac, O Jong Gil, and Ri Jae Nam – are the subject of a red notice issued by Interpol, the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant.
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