Malaysia’s attorney general said on Tuesday that the two women accused of killing the half-brother of North Korea’s leader with a nerve agent in a Kuala Lumpur airport terminal will be charged with murder.
Mohamed Apandi Ali said Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong will be charge On Wednesday and would face a mandatory death sentence if convicted. The attorney general confirmed the women will be charged in a text message to The Associated Press.
Two other suspects in the Feb. 13 killing of Kim Jong Nam have been arrested: a Malaysian who is out on bail and a North Korean who remains in custody. Asked if the North Korean will be charged, Apandi said it depends on the outcome of the investigations.
Authorities also are seeking another seven North Korean suspects, four of whom fled the country the day of Kim’s death and are believed to be back in North Korea.
The killing of Kim Jong Nam took place amid crowds of travelers at Kuala Lumpur’s airport and appeared to be a well-planned hit. Malaysian authorities say North Koreans put the deadly nerve agent VX on the hands of Aisyah and Huong, who then placed the toxin on Kim’s face. Kim died on the way to a hospital, within about 20 minutes of the attack.
South Korean lawmakers said Monday that the country’s National Intelligence Service told them in a private briefing that four of the North Koreans identified as suspects are from the Ministry of State Security, the North’s spy organ.