M'sian Journalist Shares His Joy Over Emmy Nomination Of Kim Jong-Nam's Murder Documentary

Local journalist Hadi Azmi, who starred in the documentary, is responsible for walking the audience through the trial of the two women accused of murdering Kim Jong-nam.

Cover image via @amerhadiazmi (Twitter) & Hadi Azmi

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A Malaysian journalist, who reported on the murder of North Korean Kim Jong-nam, is overjoyed that a documentary in which he starred in has been nominated for an Emmy Award

In sharing his excitement in a tweet last Friday, 29 July, Hadi Azmi said the documentary has been nominated for Outstanding Investigative Documentary at the 2022 News & Documentary Emmy Awards.

The 34-year-old journalist, who worked for BenarNews and CNN in the aftermath of the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's estranged half-brother, said he was responsible for walking the audience through the trial of the two women accused of murdering Kim in the documentary.

"I come in as the local expert. I walk viewers through the incident, taking them to the location, as well as explaining what's going on inside the courtroom during the hearings," he told SAYS when contacted.

In the tweet, Hadi said the documentary — titled Assassins — is ironically not available in Malaysia.

Kim Jong-nam.

Image via AP via Al-Jazeera

Prior to the Emmy nomination, the documentary premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival in the Documentary Premieres section

Speaking about the experience of travelling to Utah, US, for the premiere, Hadi said it was a great opportunity and he received many questions from Americans if he was in danger of any retribution from the Pyongyang regime.

In a photo posted on Twitter, the Malaysian journalist can be seen standing beside Assassins director Ryan White, composer Blake Neely, and producer Jessica Hargrave.

"However, this time around (at the 2022 News & Documentary Emmy Awards) I hope Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong get a chance to present themselves to the world, as free and vindicated individuals who were victimised in a geopolitical chess game that is beyond their wildest imagination," he said.

"They lived through the real fear of ending up hanged in a foreign country. They were duped into unknowingly committing murder due to their love of acting and their dream of Hollywood, so it's only fair that they get a chance to experience the real thing after enduring all that."

Hadi added that the Emmy nomination came as a surprise because the documentary premiered in 2020 and is about a murder that took place in 2017

Thinking that it may no longer be 'fresh' because the COVID-19 pandemic took the centre stage shortly after it premiered, and the fact that it was not shown in Malaysia, he thinks it is wonderful that the documentary is still relevant and having an impact.

"It's the Emmy, man… I'm a little bit mind-blown. Haha," he said.

Hadi hopes that with the documentary, viewers can become more empathetic to the weak and marginalised who, in the lead-up to the murder, were being used and manipulated by those with power.

Siti Aisyah (left) and Doan Thi Huong.

Image via BBC

Kim was the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who was killed in Malaysia on 13 February 2017 as he was about to board a flight to Macau

Two women — Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong and Indonesian Siti Aishah — were detained after the murder, as well as 47-year-old North Korean Ri Jong-chol, who was identified as a chemical expert employed in the IT Department of a company in Kuala Lumpur, reported New Straits Times.

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage leaked online shows a woman grabbing Kim's face.

Lawyers representing Doan and Siti contended that they were paid to take part in a series of pranks in multiple locations in Kuala Lumpur before they smeared the highly toxic VX nerve agent on Kim, reported BBC.

Both Doan and Siti were freed in May and March 2019, respectively, after more than a year of trial, reported New Straits Times.

Learn more about the murder of Kim Jong-nam here:

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