TOKYO – Because of a grainy security camera photo that went viral online, she is now known to many as the LOL assassin.
But as Doan Thi Huong arrived at a courthouse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to be formally charged with the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half brother two weeks ago, she had a very different look — tear-filled eyes and a bulletproof vest.
For most people, those first images Huong were as shocking as they were bizarre — apparently showing her lunging at Kim Jong Nam in a crowded airport terminal while wearing a T-shirt emblazoned in big black letters, LOL, an acronym for laughing out loud.
Huong, who is Vietnamese, and an Indonesian woman were formally charged with murder Thursday.
Her light-brown dyed hair disheveled and frizzy, Huong was led into the courthouse handcuffed to a female Malaysian officer. She wore a yellow shirt under the protective vest and jeans. As she looked out at a bank of photographers and journalists waiting outside, her face was puffy and her eyes red and teary.
The Indonesian suspect, Siti Aisyah, arrived dressed in a red T-shirt under her vest and also wore jeans. Outside court, she appeared more somber, her eyes downcast.
Malaysian police say the two women rubbed VX nerve agent onto Kim's face, possibly at the behest of North Koreans. Kim was dead within 20 minutes.
Both women deny they intended to kill Kim. They say they were hired to play what they were led to believe was a harmless prank on him for a TV show.
If found guilty, they could be executed.