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One of the two women accused of murdering Kim Jong Nam, the exiled brother of North Korea's leader, was hired to take part in what she believed to be a Japanese prank show in the weeks prior to his death, a Malaysian court heard Tuesday.

The police found about $138,000 in Kim's backpack when he died, lending to rumours that he may have sold information related to the regime of his half-brother Kim Jong Un to the U.S. but Mr Azirul denied that.

Kim died in agony within minutes and the women were arrested days later.

KUALA LUMPUR-Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean's leader, met a United States national at a Malaysian island hotel days before his sensational killing last February, a police official told a court hearing on Monday.

A defense lawyer said an analysis of Kim's personal computer shows that data was copied to it from a USB memory stick the same day.

Kim Jong Nam arrived in Kuala Lumpur from Macau Feb. 6 past year, according to Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz, the police official investigating the murder.

The line of questioning about the American was prompted by a Japanese newspaper report that said that Kim Jong Nam met with a US intelligence agent before his death and passed data to him via a laptop.

Ms Aisyah's lawyer Gooi Soon Seng insisted in court that there is a political motive behind the assassination.

Defence lawyers say the women thought they were playing a prank for a reality show.

The defense team for 25-year-old Aisyah, who had begun the line of questioning that prompted Wan Azirul's initial testimony, appeared to get frustrated when the officer was unable to recall specific details, such as the resort's name, the South China Morning Post reported.

Malaysian police had previously said that four North Korean suspects fled the country on the day that Kim was attacked at Kuala Lumpur's airport.

Lawyers for the two women have previously asked the court to compel prosecutors to identify four people still at large mentioned in the charge sheet as having a common intention to kill Nam. North Korea vehemently denies this. The judge denied the request a year ago.

Kim, the eldest son in the family that has ruled North Korea since its founding, had been living overseas for years after falling out of favor. He was also caught trying to sneak into Japan to visit Disneyland Tokyo.

He was travelling on a North Korean diplomatic passport under the name "Kim Chol", when he was killed.

Citing three sources, Nikkei Asian Review reported in August 2017 that top government officials in China and North Korea seriously considered a plot to remove Kim Jong Un in 2012, however the plot reportedly fell through and resulted in the dictator having his own uncle killed.