Jakarta. An Indonesian woman accused of killing the half brother of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, is likely to be acquitted, her lawyer said on Wednesday (11/07).
"We are confident that Siti Aisyah will be acquitted without her defense being called," the lawyer, Gooi Soon Seng, told reporters in Jakarta.
Siti, along with Vietnamese Doan Thi Hong, are standing trial in Malaysia for killing Kim Jong-nam in a chemical weapon attack at an airport in Kuala Lumpur in February 2017.
The high-profile trial began in October, with both women facing the death penalty if convicted.
Gooi cited a number of reasons for the acquittal, including no eyewitnesses and the fact that evidence from the prosecution is mostly circumstantial.
CCTV recordings, which are a cornerstone of the prosecutor's case, according to Gooi do not show Siti Aisyah attacking Kim Jong-nam.
"The said CCTV footage only showed Doan Thi Huong attacking the deceased. Doan Thi Huong has admitted in her statement that she attacked the deceased," he said.
Four North Koreans believed to have reportedly recruited the women and ordered the killing are still at large and remain unnamed to this day, making the collusion charges against Siti "vague and bad in law," Gooi said.
Siti's innocence is further supported by the fact that she was not wearing any gloves and no trace of the deadly VX nerve agent used in the murder was found in her fingernails. Also she did not suffer any symptoms of VX poisoning.
Defense lawyers have argued that the women were recruited to partake in what they thought was a prank TV show, but were instead inadvertently tricked into becoming assassins.
Gooi and his team also accused the police of a "very shoddy investigation," referring to their failure to probe Siti's version of events.
Kim's murder has strained diplomatic relations between Malaysia and North Korea, however the Southeast Asian country has never accused the isolated state of being involved in Kim's death.
South Korea and the United States have accused Pyongyang of having orchestrated the killing.
Malaysian officials have stressed that they are acting in accordance with the laws of the country and do not want the trial to be politicized.
Gooi, however, said there is a possibility that Kim's murder was indeed a political assassination.
"The prosecution has also failed to adduce any evidence on the motive of the murder. We submitted that the probability of a political assassination as a motive for the murder cannot be ruled out," Gooi said.
The Malaysian court will announce its ruling on Aug. 16.