Two lawyers to defend Vietnamese suspect in Kim murder case

By Phuong Vu   March 30, 2017 | 10:08 am GMT+7

The two Malaysian lawyers will represent Doan Thi Huong, the 28-year-old suspect, in the April 13 hearing.

Two Malaysian lawyers have been appointed to defend the Vietnamese woman over the Kim murder case, Vietnam's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

A representative from the Vietnamese Embassy to Malaysia introduced lawyer Hisyam Teh Toh Teik to Doan Thi Huong as one of the two lawyers to attend the next trial on April 13 against the 28-year-old Vietnamese suspect, the ministry said in a statement. 

Hisyam Teh Toh Teik and Naran Singh are among Malaysia's top criminal defense lawyers, according to the Malaysian Bar Council. The lawyers said that Huong's case is their top priority and have promised to provide the best legal assistance to the woman.

Huong told the embassy representative that her health was stable and she was ready to work with the lawyers.

On March 1, Huong and Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, were charged with the murder of Kim Jong-Nam, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, after his assassination at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Both are facing the death penalty.

Police accuse the pair of having wiped VX nerve agent, a weapon of mass destruction and banned around the world, on Kim’s face at the airport on February 13.

The women claim they thought they were merely taking part in a prank video.

Malaysian lawyer Selvam Shanmugam, who defended Huong in the court on March 1, has told reporters in Ho Chi Minh City that he strongly believes she is innocent. On March 6, he called for a second autopsy.

"How is (it) that my client is accused of using VX nerve agent in her hand and applying it to the face of the deceased and not suffering any illness herself?" Selvam told AFP, questioning Malaysia's ability to assess the nerve agent used in the killing.

At the next hearing on April 13, prosecutors will allow the accused to be tried jointly.