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Malaysian court to extend Kim Jong Nam assassination trial

By
Elizabeth Shim
Doan Thi Huong (C), a Vietnamese national who was detained in connection with the death of Kim Jong Nam, is escorted by Malaysian police officers as she arrives at the Shah Alam High Court, in Shah Alam, Malaysia, on Thursday. Photo by Fazry Ismail/EPA-efe
Doan Thi Huong (C), a Vietnamese national who was detained in connection with the death of Kim Jong Nam, is escorted by Malaysian police officers as she arrives at the Shah Alam High Court, in Shah Alam, Malaysia, on Thursday. Photo by Fazry Ismail/EPA-efe

Aug. 16 (UPI) -- A Malaysian court has decided to continue the trial of the defendants in the assassination case of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to reports.

The two women who are accused of killing Kim Jong Nam in Kuala Lumpur using a toxic VX nerve agent will stand trial again in November, South Korean news service Newsis reported Thursday.

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Siti Aisyah, an Indonesian national, and Doan Thi Huong, who is Vietnamese, are expected to mount a defense at a later date, according to Al Jazeera.

Malaysian High Court Judge Azmi Ariffin said the trial will resume on Nov. 1, and it would take "months" afterward before a final verdict is reached.

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Aisyah, who has said she was led to believe she was taking part in a prank for a reality television show, is expected to mount her defense before Huong, but the date of the defense has yet to be determined, according to Newsis.

Ariffin said evidence presented in court illustrate a "well-planned conspiracy" between the defendants and four North Korean suspects.

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The Malaysian judge also said a political assassination cannot be ruled out.

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"I therefore call upon them to enter their defense," Ariffin said.

Attorney Gooi Soon Seng, who represents Aisyah, said the decision to continue the trial is disappointing.

The decision does not mean the client is guilty, the lawyer said.

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In March, Seng said police failed to release all footage of the incident and tampered with evidence.

Gooi had said the omitted footage shows his client adjusting her sunglasses after assaulting Kim Jong Nam, a key piece of evidence that was left out in order to convict the defendant.

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