Court fine with lawyers briefing media on Jong Nam trial

Lawyer Gooi Soon Seng (left), representing Indonesian accused Siti Aisyah in the Kim Jong Nam murder trial speaking to reporters after the trial.

SHAH ALAM: High Court judge Justice Azmi Ariffin today said it was all right for lawyers representing two women accused of murdering Kim Jong Nam to speak to the media about the daily court proceedings.

However, the judge advised the lawyers not to “cross the line” as the “comments can influence the public”.

Justice Azmi made this remark after deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharudin Wan Ladin asked the court to remind those involved in the trial not to issue statements which might be prejudicial to the trial.

“We must adhere to the sub-judice rules,” he said, adding his request applied both to the prosecution and defence lawyers.

However, lawyer Gooi Soon Seng, representing Indonesian accused Siti Aisyah, said the lawyers were not aware the media statements were sub-judice.

“We cannot say ‘no comment’ to shut out the media. This is a high profile case,” he said.

Hisyam Teh, representing Vietnamese accused Doan Thi Huong, added that the court proceedings were open.

Siti Aisyah and Doan are standing trial on a charge of murdering the estranged half-brother of North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un on Feb 13.

Jong Nam, the eldest son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, arrived in Malaysia on Feb 6, and was at the klia2 to board a 9am flight to Macau on the day he was killed.

He died on the way to Putrajaya Hospital, sparking a diplomatic row between Putrajaya and Pyongyang.

In its opening statement at the trial, the prosecution said it would prove the two women approached Jong Nam at the airport’s departure hall and sprayed VX nerve agent on his eyes and face.

Prosecutors told the court the actions of Siti Aisyah and Doan showed they both intended to cause Jong Nam’s death.

During the hearing today, chemist Dr Raja Subramaniam told the court that he had returned Jong Nam’s personal belongings to North Korea.

“The items sent back were the deceased’s blazer, shoes, jeans, bangle, bags, wallets, chain, ring and watch.

“They were sent back to North Korea upon the request of the investigating officer,” he said in response to Gooi’s question on what happened to Jong Nam’s belongings.