A pathologist told the High Court here today that Kim Chol (or Kim Jong-nam), the estranged half-brother of North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un, had low levels of the enzyme cholinesterase due to exposure to a nerve agent poison. Dr Norashikin Othman of the Pathology Department of the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, who conducted the analysis on Kim Chol's enzyme sample, said his level of cholinesterase was low, at 344 units per litre.
The normal range of the enzyme for males is between 5,320 UL and 12,290 units per litre, said the fifth witness of the case.
"The level of the enzyme cholinesterase in Kim Chol’s body could have been caused by exposure to pesticides or nerve agent poison,” she said in reply to a question from deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin on why the enzyme level was low in Kim Chol.
Norashikin was testifying in the trial of Indonesian national Siti Aisyah (photo), 25, and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 28, who are charged, along with four others still at large, with the murder of Kim Chol, 45, at the departure hall of the KLIA 2 at 9am on Feb 13 this year.
She said the level of cholinesterase in Siti Aisyah was 6,781 UL while in Doan, it was 7,163 UL, and that both levels were normal.
The enzyme, she said, served to break apart neurotransmitters which send signals to the muscles and nerves to contract and relax.
"The balance between the functions of the neurotransmitter and the enzyme cholinesterase is necessary to ensure that the process of contraction is at a normal level. “If the enzyme is at a low level in the body, a person's muscles and nerves can be in a continued state of contraction," she said.
In answer to a question from Wan Shaharuddin on the link between fits and muscle contraction, she said fits were a sign of continued muscle contraction, along with continued saliva secretion. Yesterday, the third witness in the case, Rabiatul Adawiyah Mohd Sofi, a medical assistant at the Klinik Perubatan Menara in KLIA 2, testified that a person known as 'Kim Chol', according to his passport, seemed to have suffered fits while at the clinic as he lowered his head, saliva and nasal fluid flowed, and his hands shook.