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Traces of VX nerve agent found on Siti Aisyah, Doan's clothes

08 October 2017
Traces of VX nerve agent found on Siti Aisyah, Doan's clothes

Testifying during the trial into the murder of Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia, a chemist has said he found traces of VX nerve agent on the clothes of Doan Thi Huong, from Vietnam, and Indonesian Siti Aisyah.

His report, submitted as evidence at the trial in Malaysia's High Court, stated that VX was found not just on Kim Jong Nam's face and eyes but also in his blood, urine, clothing and bag.

Dr Nik Mohd Adzrul Ariff Raja Azlan, 34, who was the doctor on duty at the Menara Medical Clinic at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) on 13 February has testified in court on Monday on what happened after Jong-nam realised he had been poisoned.

"The presence of precursors and VX confirms the presence of VX itself", the expert, Raja Subramaniam, told the court outside the Malaysian capital.

They are accused of smearing VX on his face, but the defense says the women thought they were playing a harmless prank for a hidden-camera TV show and had been hoodwinked by men suspected of being North Korean agents.

"The level of the enzyme, cholinesterase in Kim Chol's body could have been caused by exposure to pesticides or nerve agent poison", she said in reply to a question from Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin on why the enzyme level was low in Kim Chol.

She said Kim told her "he was attacked from behind by two women", with one of them wiping something over his eyes.

Lee said, though, Kim's concerns are closer to home, where his regime was blamed for the murder of his half-brother Kim Jong Nam earlier this year, AFP said.

He said if a drop of VX comes into contact with human skin, death can be prevented by performing decontamination within 15 minutes from time of contact.

However, Dr Raja warned that viewing the shirt in an open space was unsafe as the VX nerve agent's presence might be still active.

The lethality of VX depended on the dosage and where on the body it was applied, he added.

"VX nerve agent liquid may be taken into the country from North Korea in a water bottle, without being detected".

He agreed with the prosecutors' assertion that Kim didn't inhale VX because no nerve agent was detected on a nasal swab.

But it is believed to be part of North Korea's chemical weapons arsenal. The report gave Kim's age as 46 and his name as Kim Chol, the pseudonym he used in the North Korean passport he carried at the time of his death.

Nevertheless Russia backed tougher United Nations sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear tests last month.

The testimony of Dr Raja, who is the head of the Chemistry Department's Centre of Chemical Weapons and Analysis, was the first piece of evidence in the murder trial that linked the two suspects to the nerve agent.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 in this undated photo released by KCNA.

Gooi Soon Seong, lawyer for Siti, told reporters that detection of VX on the women was not enough to convict them.

Traces of degradation elements were also discovered on the fingernail samples obtained from Doan.

"I'm pretty sure they're going to do an ICBM test", Klingner said.