KUALA LUMPUR: Two women were charged Wednesday with the murder of Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korea's leader, after his assassination at a Malaysian airport last month.
Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, from Vietnam, were surrounded by a heavy police presence as they were charged in a Kuala Lumpur court over the February 13 killing.
Siti, wearing a red T-shirt, was brought in first to hear the murder charge read out before being taken away. Huong, also dressed casually, then heard the charge in Vietnamese.
The handcuffed women were both told they faced the death penalty if found guilty.
Neither woman was asked to enter a plea and their trial is not expected to begin for several months.
The suspects, who claim they thought they were merely taking part in a prank video, remained composed throughout the brief hearing.
However, Huong looked nervous as she strained her head to look around the courtroom.
Police accuse the pair of having wiped the VX nerve agent into Kim's face at Kuala Lumpur airport. The deadly poison is classed as a weapon of mass destruction and banned around the world.
The suspects were brought to the isolated courthouse on the outskirts of the capital under intense security, and bundled into the building through a media scrum.
More than 100 heavily armed police wearing balaclavas and wielding automatic weapons had secured the entrance to the court.