Lawyer: Malaysia may have compromised Kim Jong Nam case

Aishah and Huong arrived at a heavily guarded Malaysian magistrate court in Sepang district on Thursday morning (13 April) wearing bullet-proof vests.

Gooi Soon Seng, the attorney of Siti Aisyah, an Indonesian woman charged with murdering Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, admitted that it is hard to defend his client because the main suspects have escaped to North Korea on the day of the incident. USA and South Korean officials say the murder was orchestrated by the North's leader, Kim Jong Un.

Defence lawyer Gooi soon Seng said in court on Thursday that there must not be a "trial by ambush".

North Korea is ready to launch a nuclear test at its Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, the 38 North monitoring group reported.

Four other North Koreans have also been identified by Malaysian police as suspects.

The three suspects returned to Pyongyang along with the body of Kim Jong-nam as part of a swap deal with North Korea, which had banned nine Malaysians from leaving the country in a diplomatic spat. If convicted, they could face the death penalty, which is carried out by hanging in Malaysia.

"The accused person should not be denied her fundamental right to a fair trial", said Aisyah's attorney Gooi Soon Seng.

Siti's lawyer said Tuesday that his client was duped into thinking she was playing a harmless prank on an unsuspecting traveler.

Malaysian police did not immediately respond to calls for comment, but they have said in recent weeks that the deal with North Korea did not affect the investigation.

They allegedly committed the offence at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) departure hall around 9am on Feb 13, as charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code which provides for the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

Although Malaysia never directly accused North Korea of carrying out the attack, speculation is rampant that Pyongyang orchestrated a hit on a long-exiled member of its ruling elite.

Gooi said he fears the women will become scapegoats because all the other people believed to have knowledge of the case have left the country.

Gooi said James should not have been allowed to leave because he was key to Aisyah's defence. Hong had introduced himself as Chang, a Chinese who produces video prank shows for the Chinese market, he said.

Gooi said Hong asked Aishah to do several more pranks at the Kuala Lumpur airport a few days before Kim was attacked.

Tran Huy Hoang, a cousin of the Vietnamese suspect, said she is doing well in prison and had even gained weight. "We believe she was cheated and we hope that the truth will come out".

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