Kim Jong-nam murder: Women plead not guilty in trial

Trial of 2 women in Jong-Nam’s murder begins tomorrow

He struggled to breathe.

His jaw and teeth clenched and his eyes rolled back before he slipped into unconsciousness, Nik said.

"She said he was smothered with something on his face by two women", he added.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, who were arrested a few days after the killing, have pleaded not guilty to the murder.

VX can affect the lung and heart muscles, disrupt the functions of secretion (saliva) and sweat glands, and cause the constriction of the pupils, she told the court. The women claimed that they were tricked into spraying him, saying that they thought it was part of a prank for a game show.

These range from how two women living precarious existences among Malaysia's army of migrant workers allegedly became involved in a high-profile assassination, to how a lethal nerve agent was deployed in an airport and killed Kim but harmed no one else. Their lawyers blame North Korean agents. In his place, his half-brother Kim Jong Un rose to power.

Kim Jong Nam was on his way to Macau on his last day of his life.

An airport doctor testified that Kim died rapidly, with his blood pressure and pulse first soaring and then plunging.

DPRK is an acronym for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name. The two women pleaded not guilty.

It is believed Jong-nam was seen as a rival for power to North Korea's supreme leader Jong-un. Political analysts have said the decision to let the North Korean suspects go was a political deal meant to end a standoff and free the Malaysians who were trapped in the north. The women arrived at the courthouse wearing bullet-proof vests and could face the death penalty, if convicted. Judge Azmi Ariffin refused the request.

The lawyer told Channel NewsAsia that the prosecution would "call its witnesses and reveal the narrative" on Monday.

Earlier, in her testimony today, Norashikin said the level of cholinesterase enzyme in Jong Nam's samples were about 15 times lower than the normal enzyme level a man is supposed to have. He had been living overseas for years and at the time of his death was traveling on a North Korean diplomatic passport under the name "Kim Chol", the name being used in court.

Defense lawyer Hisyam Abdullah, who represents Doan, told CNN the lawyer who was appointed by North Korea to watch the brief has been instructed by their embassy to disengage himself from observing proceedings.

After the assassination sent the diplomatic temperature soaring between Pyongyang and Kuala Lumpur, tensions only eased when Malaysia agreed to return Kim's body. She hoped to be a singing star and celebrity and says she believed the airport gig was for a reality show.

She was paid up to $200 for each "prank".

Malaysian police have said four North Korean suspects fled the country on the same day Kim Jong Nam was killed. Four left Malaysia immediately after the killing, and three others were allowed to leave the country in March after questioning by investigators.

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