Indonesian Siti Aisyah, left, is escorted by police as she arrives for a court hearing at Shah Alam High Court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. Malaysian court will rule on Thursday whether the two women, Siti Aisyah and Vietnam's Doan Thi Huong, will be acquitted or call their defense, for the brazen assassination of North Korea leader's half brother, Kim Jong Nam. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Ong)

The Latest: Indonesian to testify when murder trial resumes

August 16, 2018 - 8:37 pm

SHAH ALAM, Malaysia (AP) — The Latest on the murder trial of two Southeast Asian women in the assassination of the North Korean leader's half brother (all times local):

2.35 p.m.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah will be the first witness to testify when her murder trial in the killing of Kim Jong Nam resumes in November.

A Malaysian judge ruled Thursday the trial will resume Nov. 1 with the defense phase, which could take months. Vietnamese suspect Doan Thi Huong has also told the court she intends to testify, but it's not immediately clear when she will do so.

The judge said there was enough evidence to infer the two women had conspired with four North Koreans to kill the estranged half brother of North Korea's leader in the Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb. 13, 2017.

Aisyah's lawyer, Gooi Soon Seng, said the defense was disappointed, "but it doesn't mean the court has found them guilty. The court wants to hear their version."

Huong's lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, said Huong has been "consistent from day one" that she was duped into playing what she thought was a harmless prank.

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2 p.m.

The family of the Vietnamese suspect in Kim Jong Nam's slaying says they are very sad to hear she was not acquitted.

A judge in Malaysia ruled Thursday the defense phase of the trial should proceed.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong are accused of smearing VX nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam's face last year. They told the court they will testify in their defense.

Huong's father, Doan Van Thanh, said he could not sleep last night, anxious to hear the ruling. He said, "I had thought she would be innocent."

The judge could have acquitted the suspects, but ruled instead enough evidence of their guilt had been presented so far to continue the trial. The defense phase is expected to last months.

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1:20 p.m.

The two women on trial in the assassination of the North Korean leader's half brother have told the court they will testify under oath in their defense.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong are accused of smearing VX nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam's face last year. They have said they thought they were taking part in a prank for a TV show.

A judge ruled Thursday the women should begin entering their defense, which could last several months.

High Court Judge Azmi Ariffin said enough evidence had been presented in court to infer the woman and four North Koreans had engaged in a "well-planned conspiracy" to kill Kim.

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12:45 p.m.

Indonesia's ambassador to Malaysia says he was shocked by a judge's ruling that evidence presented so far warranted continuing the murder trial of an Indonesian suspect in the assassination of the North Korean leader's half brother.

Indonesian Ambassador Rusdi Kirana told reporters that his government will abide by the ruling.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong are accused of smearing VX nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam's face last year. They have said they thought they were taking part in a prank for a TV show.

A judge ruled Thursday the women should begin entering their defense. He could have acquitted them.

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12:30 p.m.

A Malaysian judge has ruled the two women charged with murdering the North Korean leader's half brother should begin entering their defense.

High Court Judge Azmi Ariffin said Thursday it can be inferred from evidence presented in court that there was a "well-planned conspiracy" between the two women and four North Korean suspects at large to kill Kim "systemically."

He said he "cannot rule out that this could be a political assassination" but noted there was no concrete evidence to support this. He called for them to enter their defense after reading his ruling for more than two hours. The defense phase of the trial is expected to last months.

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8 a.m.

Two women on trial for the brazen assassination of the North Korean leader's half brother have arrived at a Malaysian court for a key ruling.

The judge is to decide Thursday whether to acquit the women of murder or to call them to enter their defense, which could take several months.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong are accused of smearing VX nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam's face in an airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur. The women have said they thought they were taking part in a prank for a TV show.

They are the only two suspects in custody and face the death penalty if convicted. If they are acquitted, they may not be freed as prosecutors could appeal or push charges of overstaying their visas..

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