Kim Jong Nam Had Something Precious in His Backpack

$100K now held in police safe
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2017 9:14 AM CDT
Kim Jong Nam Had Something Precious in His Backpack
Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong is seen in Malaysia on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Sadiq Asyraf)

Kim Jong Nam's accused killers were apparently unaware that the half brother of North Korea’s leader was carrying $100,000 in cash in his backpack when he was fatally attacked at Kuala Lumpur’s airport on Feb. 13, per Reuters. But Siti Aisyah of Indonesia and Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam were aware they were handling a deadly nerve agent when they smeared liquid on Kim's face, because the pair rushed to separate washrooms afterward, police say. An airport security video presented in a Malaysian court Wednesday shows Aisyah and Huong walking away from Kim with their hands held away from their bodies, reports the Wall Street Journal. Separately, the women enter washrooms, exiting after a minute with hands relaxed at their sides.

Police say this shows the women knew the substance on their hands was VX, which could be safely removed within 15 minutes, per the AP. Other security videos aired in court show Huong practicing for the attack by gently touching the faces of passersby at the same airport two days earlier, police say. But defense attorneys—who claim the women thought they were participating in a harmless TV prank—say authorities are sharing only their interpretation of poor quality footage in which it's difficult to make much out. Also Wednesday, a police official revealed Kim's backpack contained $100,000, which police are holding in a safe, per Reuters. Kim's backpack, blazer, and watch were turned over to the North Korean embassy, the official said. (Read more Kim Jong Nam stories.)

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