SHAH ALAM: A new twist emerged on the assassination of North Korean Kim Chol when a prosecution witness told the High Court today that the deceased had a dozen bottles of antidote for nerve agent in his backpack during the incident.
The 12 bottles contained ‘Atropine’ which was used to treat certain types of nerve agent and pesticide poisonings including VX nerve agent.
This was confirmed by Alcohol and Clinical Toxicology Unit Chief Dr L. Sharmilah, 38, who testified as a 23rd prosecution witness in the trial of Indonesian 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.
“I received the items (antidote) together with seven other exhibits from a police officer who handed it to me at about 4.06pm on March 10 for toxicology test,” she said during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Fairuz Johari.
Sharmilah said traces of several common drugs were found during a test on Kim Chol’s blood. However, they were normal doses.
“Among the common drugs traced were drugs to control high blood pressure, diabetes, gout, and pain killer,” she said.
However, Sharmilah, when being cross-examined by Siti Aisyah’s counsel Gooi Soon Seng, agreed with his suggestion that pesticide could cause death and could give the same symptom as VX nerve agent.
“However, the use of pesticide to kill people requires different level of concentration compared to VX,” she said.
She said about 10mg of VX nerve agent was required to kill a person via skin absorption.
“Compared to Phorate, the most toxic type of insecticide in the organophosphate group, one needs 72,000 milligram to cause death through skin absorption,” she said.
Later into the trial, the prosecution called Selangor Criminal Investigation Department officer Assistant Superitendant Nasrul Sain Hamzah who testified that Doan had led the raiding team to the Sky Star Hotel in Sepang, which led to the discovery of the infamous white shirt with the letters “LOL”.
“Following interrogation at the Sepang police headquarters, Doan said to me “I can show you the shirt that I wore on the day of the incident”,” he said.
He said his men together with police forensic team led by Doan went to the hotel on Feb 15 and rushed to Room 410, which was rented by Doan.
“Upon arrival, Doan opened the door and I saw a very cluttered room with a pile of clothes dumped beside a bed.
“Doan with her hands cuffed to the front went inside and went through the clothes which were dumped on top of the open pink Hello Kitty bag.
“She handed me the white ‘LOL’ shirt and a colourful dress before I give them to the forensic team at the scene,” he said.
Nasrul Sain said the team also went to the Concorde Hotel in Kuala Lumpur after Doan gave them a tip-off that three of her acquaintance were staying at the hotel.
“However, we failed to track down the suspects believed to be North Korean citizens,” he said.
Trial continues tomorrow before Judge Datuk Azmi Ariffin.
On March 1, Siti Aisyah and Doan were charged at the Sepang magistrate's court with murdering Kim Chol, 45, with four others still at large.
Kim Chol was later established to be Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The duo allegedly committed the offence at klia 2 departure hall around 9am on Feb 13.
The charge under Section 302 of the Penal Code carries a mandatory death penalty.