VX found on both accused's clothes

Reuters

Raja Subramaniam, head of the Malaysian government's Centre of Chemical Weapons and Analysis, said they found residues of VX, a colourless and odourless nerve agent deemed by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction, on the clothes of the two accused, Siti Aisyah of Indonesia and Doan Thi Houng of Vietnam, reports Efe news.

The eighth prosecution witness said he analysed the exhibits on Feb 21 and also found traces of VX on fingernails labelled, ' Doan Thi Huong'.

Despite President Donald Trump labeling him a "madman", senior Central Intelligence Agency officials describe North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a "rational actor" with long-term plans, CNN reported.

The chemist, who is the only Malaysian with a doctorate in chemical weapons analysis, said laboratory tests also detected VX acid, a degraded product of the nerve agent, on Aisyah's sleeveless T-shirt. He described VX as the "deadliest nerve agent created" and said literature showed that 10 milligrams, just a small drop, could be fatal.

Dr Raja who had conducted analysis on the victim's blazer also said he found concentrated VX on it.

"If you have it (VX) on your palm, it is best to wash it with running water and rubbing it as quickly as possible after contact before getting medical assistance", he said, adding that decontamination in within 15 minutes after contact could eliminate VX on the skin.

An assasination can be effectively executed by applying VX nerve agent on the eyes and neck, the High Court heard. He said VX is oily and hard to detect because it is colorless and odourless, and can be easily transported in a water bottle.

He said that VX which was oily in form was non-volatile in room temperature and it could not be found naturally in the enviroment as it was a synthetic chemical.

The poison from the VX nerve agent kills by sending the nerve system into overdrive causing convulsions, paralysis and eventually death due to respiratory failure. This came after Raja told the court it would be safer to view the samples in the lab because the VX may still be active.

The trial is to resume Monday, with the judge, lawyers and the two suspects visiting Raja's laboratory to see VX-tainted samples from the two women before they are formally submitted as evidence.

Author Michael J Zagurek Jr said based on his calculations, nuclear attacks on the capital cities of South Korea and Japan could kill as many as 2.1 million people and injure 7.7 million others, according to Yonhap.

He said the deadly chemical weapon was hard to be detected but easy to transport and it required specialised detectors to detect its presence.

The trial is being closely watched by the Indonesian and Vietnamese governments, which hired the defence lawyers for both women.

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