SHAH ALAM: An arresting officer, who seized the clothes worn by Indonesian Siti Aisyah on the day North Korean Kim Chol was killed, suffered the side effects of VX nerve agent for a week, the High Court heard.
Traumatised by his experience, Superintendent Nasri Mansor who was a witness in the murder trial, which has entered its 17th day, initially, did not dare touch the exhibits which contained Siti Aisyah's grey sleeveless top, a pair of denim pants, scarf and a pair of shoes.
"I am afraid to touch it (the clothes of Siti Aisyah) because the first time I touched the clothes, I experienced some symptoms.
"When I seized the clothes I was not wearing gloves as I did not know (that there were degradation products of VX on the clothes)," he told the court.
However, Siti Aisyah's counsel Gooi Soon Seng insisted that the exhibits be opened for identification as parts of the clothes that contained VX had been cut off.
Judge Datuk Azmi Ariffin then allowed the exhibits to be opened in the courtroom and advised those who are sitting near the exhibits to wear gloves and masks for precaution.
Nasri, who is attached to the Selangor Police Contingent Headquarters, was startled when Gooi took the scarf and went towards him in the witness dock.
In the previous proceedings, chemical weapon analyst Dr S. Raja had advised the court to not open the exhibits in the courtroom as the nerve agent on the exhibits was still active and could be harmful.
The exhibits then had to be identified at the Department of Chemistry in Petaling Jaya as a precautionary measure.
Earlier during examination-in-chief by DPP Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad, Nasri testified that Siti Aisyah was found lying on a bed in a hotel room of which the door was left ajar, three days after Kim Chol's murder.
The witness said upon receiving information on the accused at 1.30am on Feb 16, he went to the Flamingo Hotel in Ampang with his team, which consisted of six personnel.
"We arrived at the hotel at 2.15am and took the elevator to the third floor to room number 365.
"We saw that the room door was slightly ajar. I knocked on the door first before entering and when I entered the room, I saw a woman lying on the bed… the room was bright with all the lights switched on," he said.
Nasri said during the arrest, Siti Aisyah was shocked and asked what offence has she committed.
"I told her that she was suspected to be involved in a murder case at klia2 on Feb 13 before seizing two handphones and USD$ 300 (RM1,254) in three USD$ 100 notes, a pair of Rayban sunglasses, her purse, a Louis Vuitton handbag, and a pair of shoes.
"I also seized another pair of shoes, a pair of denim pants, a scarf, a grey sleeveless t-shirt and the passport belonging to the accused at the hotel room," he said.
He said the items were placed in a black plastic bag and Siti Aisyah was handcuffed and taken to the Sepang district police headquarters.
He said they arrived at Sepang police headquarters at 4.15am.
Nasri was testifying in the trial of Siti Aisyah, 25, and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 28, who are charged with murdering Kim Chol, along with four others still at large, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) on Feb 13.
During cross-examination by Gooi, Nasri denied that two women known as May and Wati were renting the hotel room together with Siti Aisyah since a year ago.
Gooi: During the raid, May and Wati were lying on the bed while Siti Aisyah was just sitting on the bed?
Nasri: I disagree.
Trial continues tomorrow.
Kim Chol, 45, who was claimed to be Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was killed by a highly toxic liquid nerve agent VX at klia2, at about 9am on Feb 13.