Malaysian police seeking pair to testify in Kim Jong-nam murder trial

The moratorium on the death penalty will effect two women accused of assassinating the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il last year

Malaysian police are seeking two Indonesian women to appear as witnesses in the trial of the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of the North Korean supreme leader.

A Saturday police statement said Raisa Rinda Salma, 24, and Dessy Meyrisinta 33, had their last address recorded at a hotel in the city of Ampang just outside Kuala Lumpur and that they could not be reached.

It called for anyone who knew the two women or had information about them to contact the authorities.

Police did not give any indication of what the two women might have witnessed or how they could help shed light on the case.

Siti Aisyah from Indonesia and Doan Thi Huong from Vietnam are the two women accused of smearing the toxic nerve agent VX on Kim at a busy Malaysian airport, killing him in February last year in a Cold War-style hit that shocked the world.

They were arrested shortly after Kim was assassinated as he waited to board a flight to Macau.

Kim, who had lived in exile for years, was once seen as an heir to the North Korean leadership and rival to current leader Kim Jong-un.

A Malaysian court ruled in mid-August that there was sufficient evidence to support a murder charge against the pair.

The trial is set to resume in November with Siti, 26, set to take the stand when proceedings start, followed by Doan, 30, in January.

Both women could face death by hanging if found guilty. They say they fell victim to an elaborate plot by North Korean agents, believing that they were taking part in a prank for a reality TV show.

The families of the two women insisted that Siti and Doan were tricked into carrying out the hit which South Korea has accused the North of ordering, though Pyongyang has denied the accusation.