Jakarta. The high-profile trial into the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half brother will likely continue next month, in which an Indonesian national is one of two suspected assailants, an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday (08/01).
"The trial will continue, and for now it is planned for February, but there may still be pretrial processes such as cross-examination throughout this month," said Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, director of citizen protection and legal aid at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Two women, Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, are charged with conspiring with four North Korean fugitives in the murder of Kim Jong-nam by using VX, a banned and deadly nerve agent, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport last February.
Both Siti and Doan pleaded not guilty, and reportedly said that they thought they were playing a harmless prank for a hidden-camera TV show.
The Indonesian government is providing Siti with a lawyer and consular assistance.
The murder unraveled diplomatic relations between Malaysia and North Korea, which resulted in the prohibition of Malaysian citizens entering and leaving North Korea last March. In retaliation, Malaysian authorities forbid North Korean citizens from entering and leaving Malaysia. Both sides have since ended their dispute.
In October, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak said the Southeast Asian country is considering closing its embassy in Pyongyang, North Korea, according to a report from Malaysian newspaper, The Star.