A testimony issued on Monday by a Malaysian doctor at the trial of two young women accused of murdering the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader revealed that the victim's pupils contracted and his underwear was soiled with feces, both are signs of poisoning.
The two suspects pleaded not guilty at the start of their trial on Oct. 2., Siti Aisyah of Indonesia and Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam, were accused of smearing the banned VX nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam's face at a crowded airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur on Feb. 13.
The court received a statement from Nurliza Abdullah, one of two government doctors who conducted the autopsy on Kim's body that the pupil constriction and a large amount of excrement found in Kim's underwear both pointed to poisoning.
"Based on our autopsy and the lab test results, the cause of death is acute nerve agent VX poisoning," she said, concurring with a colleague who had given similar testimony earlier in the trial, when the autopsy report was presented to the court.
The doctor also agreed with the defense assertion that the post-mortem alone wasn't able to confirm VX as the cause of death, and that the autopsy conclusion was based on tests by the chemical department that found traces of the nerve agent on Kim's face and body.
The nerve agent is universally banned, and classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations. However, the use of the gas against Kim is an indication of the capabilities and resolve of his killers.
"These agents are known as knock-down agents," University of Southern California toxicology expert Sean Nordt told CBS News in February. "They can knock down people fairly quick… if it is in a high enough concentration, it is quite fatal."
The court session on Monday was cut short because the next prosecution witness wasn't ready. However, the trial will resume on Tuesday. The two suspects face a mandatory death sentence if convicted.
A report released by Defense lawyers indicated that they were duped by suspected North Korean agents into believing they were playing a harmless prank for a TV show. However, prosecutors have said four North Koreans conspired with the two women to plot the murder of Kim Jong Nam and fled the country the day of the attack. The South Korea's spy agency had also revealed that the move was part of a carefully set strategy that was initiated by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to kill the brother.