KUALA LUMPUR: The Indonesian suspect in the murder of Kim Jong Nam was recruited by a taxi driver a few weeks before Kim Jong Nam's death, and paid RM400 (US$103) to carry out "pranks" at a mall, confirmed the lead investigating officer on the case on Tuesday (Jan 30).
This is in line with the defence's argument that their clients had thought they were carrying out a prank when they swiped Kim's face with a toxic nerve agent.
Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong - as well as four North Koreans at large - are accused of killing the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader with VX nerve agent on Feb 13, 2017 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2.
Their lawyers have argued the attack was politically-motivated, with the women as pawns. The defence believes they were set up by the North Korean suspects who told them they were participating in a "prank show" that would be broadcast online and in Japan.
On Jan 5, 2017, Siti Aisyah was approached at a nightclub by a Malaysian taxi driver, who asked her if she would participate in a Japanese video prank show, her lawyer, Gooi Soon Seng, told the court during his questioning of the lead police investigator in the case.
The following morning the taxi driver, Kamaruddin Masiod, also known as John, introduced Siti Aisyah to Ri Ji U, a North Korean posing as a Japanese man named James, at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur's city centre, Gooi added. Wan Azirul, the police witness, agreed to this claim.
After Siti Aisyah agreed to the offer, she watched pranks being played by an unidentified woman, before joining in. Wan Azirul was unable to confirm the pranks took place.
Wan Azirul had also confirmed that Kim had been in Langkawi island days before his death, where he had met with a US citizen. The official did not know who he was but Asahi Shimbun had reported that the man was allegedly an American intelligence agent.