Poison found on Kim was above lethal dosage, court told (Updated)

SHAH ALAM: The VX (nerve agent) poison found on the skin sample of Kim Jong-Nam was 1.4 times more than the minimal amount of lethal dosage, the High Court learnt today.

The Chemistry Department’s centre of chemical weapon analysis lab head Dr Raja Subramaniam, 42, said the minimal lethal concentration dosage of VX poison following skin exposure is 0.142mg/kg of body weight.

“The amount was derived following animal testing where 50% of them died when exposed to that amount of VX poison,” he said during the fifth day Jong-Nam trial, here.

Raja said Jong-Nam’s skin sample was tested with its estimated concentration levels at 0.2mg/kg of body weight.

During the cross-examination by counsel Gooi Soon Seng on the whereabouts of Jong-Nam’s blazer, Raja said that he had passed it sealed and tagged back to ACP Mohd Zani Che Din.

“I was told that the blazer was sent back to North Korea along with the deceased’s other belongings such as shoes, jeans, bracelet, bag, wallet, keychain and watch,” he said.

Raja also told the court that the physical sample of the blazer was destroyed as the sample had been tested with sulphur.

“However, the extraction from the sample still remains,” he said adding that it was one of the procedures that OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) adopted.

As a rebuttal, Gooi pointed out that when the sarin chemical was used in the Syrian Civil War earlier this year, samples were sent to four separate labs by OPCW for verification.

“In this case, however there was only one lab. And the exhibit has since been destroyed,” he said.

The ninth witness, investigating officer from the Sepang police district, ASP Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz, was then called to the stand and explained the request by the defence team to obtain CCTV recordings in DVD at KLIA2 on the day of the incident before the court adjourned.

Meanwhile, High Court judge Datuk Azmi Ariffin ruled that it was fine for lawyers representing both women accused of murdering Jong-Nam to engage members of the media about the daily court proceedings.

But he also advised the counsels against “crossing the line”, as such comments could influence the public’s perception on the ongoing trial.

Azmi said this after Wan Shaharudin Wan Ladin requested the court to remind those involved including the prosecution team not to issue statements which might be deemed prejudicial to the trial.

“We must adhere to the sub-judice rules,” he said.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 29, along with four others still at large, were charged with the murder of Kim Chol, 45, at the KL International Airport 2 (KLIA2) departure hall at 9am on Feb 13 this year.

It was reported that Jong-nam was at KLIA2 on Feb 13 to board a flight to Macau when two women approached and suddenly wiped his face with toxic liquid which was later identified as the VX nerve agent.

Jong-nam, who travelled with a passport bearing the name of Kim Chol, died while on the way to the Putrajaya Hospital. He arrived in the country on Feb 6.

The murder charge under Section 302 of the Penal Code carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.