Kim Jong Nam had nerve agent antidote, court learns

Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, had 12 vials of antidote for the nerve agent VX in his bag at the time he was poisoned at the Kuala Lumpur international airport earlier this year, according to testimony on Wednesday.

Dr. K Sharmilah, a toxicologist, told the Malaysian court that Kim Jong Nam had vials of atropine, which is an antidote for poisons such as VX,

Indonesia’s Siti Aisyah, 25, and Vietnam’s Doan Thi Huong, 29, are accused of smearing a nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam’s face in a crowded airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur on Feb. 13. The two are the only suspects in custody, though prosecutors have said four North Koreans who have since fled the country were also involved.

Kim Jong Nam was captured on airport security camera footage as he was approached by two women, who appear to smear something on his face. Footage showed Kim gesturing for help before he suffered seizures. He was dead within two hours.

Prosecutors have focused on proving the women’s guilt but shied away from scrutinizing any political motive behind the killing. Defence lawyers, who say their clients were duped into carrying out the attack, will look to shift that focus when the trial resumes Jan. 22.

An autopsy showed the banned VX nerve agent was found on Kim’s face and in his eyes, blood, urine, clothing and bag. His organs were damaged, including part of his brain, both lungs, his liver and spleen. Doctors concluded the cause of his death was “acute VX nerve agent poisoning,” and ruled out any other contributing factors.

The two young women face the death penalty if convicted, but under Malaysian law they can’t be sentenced to die if they didn’t have intent to kill. That is their defence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report