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North Korean ‘masterminds’ evade Kim Jong Nam murder trial

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – At a trial that could send two Southeast Asian women to the gallows, Malaysian prosecutors are shining a light on several men at large they say masterminded and played crucial roles in carrying out the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong’s Un’s estranged half brother.

The lone defendants, an Indonesian and a Vietnamese, say they are innocent, duped by the men into participating in February’s attack at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport, which they say they thought was a harmless prank for a TV show. If found guilty, they face a mandatory death sentence.

Both the prosecutors and the defense team say a lot more is going to be revealed in the weeks ahead about the men, who outside of court they acknowledge are believed to be North Korean citizens.

FILE – This Feb. 19, 2017, file photo shows information about Ri Ji Hyon, one of four North Koreans wanted in connection with the killing of Kim Jong Nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong’s Un’s estranged half brother, displayed during a press conference by Malaysia Deputy National Police Chief Noor Rashid Ibrahim at the Bukit Aman national police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysian prosecutors are shining a light on a group of mysterious North Korean men they contend masterminded the assassination of Kim Jong Nam and fled before they could be brought to justice. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2017, file photo shows information about Hong Song Hac, one of four North Koreans wanted in connection with the killing of Kim Jong Nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong's Un's estranged half brother, displayed during a press conference by Malaysia Deputy National Police Chief Noor Rashid Ibrahim at the Bukit Aman national police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysian prosecutors are shining a light on a group of mysterious North Korean men they contend masterminded the assassination of Kim Jong Nam and fled before they could be brought to justice. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)

FILE – This Feb. 19, 2017, file photo shows information about Hong Song Hac, one of four North Koreans wanted in connection with the killing of Kim Jong Nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong’s Un’s estranged half brother, displayed during a press conference by Malaysia Deputy National Police Chief Noor Rashid Ibrahim at the Bukit Aman national police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysian prosecutors are shining a light on a group of mysterious North Korean men they contend masterminded the assassination of Kim Jong Nam and fled before they could be brought to justice. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2017, file photo shows information about O Jong Gil, one of four North Koreans wanted in connection with the killing of Kim Jong Nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong's Un's estranged half brother, displayed during a press conference by Malaysia Deputy National Police Chief Noor Rashid Ibrahim at the Bukit Aman national police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysian prosecutors are shining a light on a group of mysterious North Korean men they contend masterminded the assassination of Kim Jong Nam and fled before they could be brought to justice. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)

FILE – This Feb. 19, 2017, file photo shows information about O Jong Gil, one of four North Koreans wanted in connection with the killing of Kim Jong Nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong’s Un’s estranged half brother, displayed during a press conference by Malaysia Deputy National Police Chief Noor Rashid Ibrahim at the Bukit Aman national police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysian prosecutors are shining a light on a group of mysterious North Korean men they contend masterminded the assassination of Kim Jong Nam and fled before they could be brought to justice. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2017, file photo shows information about Ri Jae Nam, one of four North Koreans wanted in connection with the killing of Kim Jong Nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong's Un's estranged half brother, displayed during a press conference by Malaysia Deputy National Police Chief Noor Rashid Ibrahim at the Bukit Aman national police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysian prosecutors are shining a light on a group of mysterious North Korean men they contend masterminded the assassination of Kim Jong Nam and fled before they could be brought to justice. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)

FILE – This Feb. 19, 2017, file photo shows information about Ri Jae Nam, one of four North Koreans wanted in connection with the killing of Kim Jong Nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong’s Un’s estranged half brother, displayed during a press conference by Malaysia Deputy National Police Chief Noor Rashid Ibrahim at the Bukit Aman national police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysian prosecutors are shining a light on a group of mysterious North Korean men they contend masterminded the assassination of Kim Jong Nam and fled before they could be brought to justice. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)

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