KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — 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, Kim Jong Nam.

The lone defendants at the Shah Alam High Court – Siti Aisyah, 25, of Indonesia and Doan Thi Huong, 29, of Vietnam – 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. In Malaysia, that means they would be hanged.

But since the trial began on Oct. 2, the alleged role of the four missing suspects has come to dominate the proceedings. 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.

The prosecution this week also stressed that authorities reserve the right to take more formal action against the four if they can gather enough evidence.

The missing men are referred to officially in court only by their aliases. Police say the one called Hanamori is the “mastermind.”

According to police, airport security video shows that the man arrived at the terminal in the same vehicle with two of the three other suspects about 90 minutes before the Feb. 13 attack. Security cameras then captured him meeting all three other suspects, separately, at an airport cafe before the attack.

The suspect called James allegedly recruited Aisyah. Her lawyer told reporters before the trial that she was recruited in January by this man to star in what he said was a video prank show. The lawyer said James and Aisyah went to malls, hotels and airports, where she would rub oil or pepper sauce on strangers’ faces while James recorded her and that he paid Aisyah between $100 and $200 for each prank.

The suspect called Chang put the liquid poison on Aisyah’s hands, according to police.

Prosecutors claim the suspect called Mr. Y put the poison on Huong’s hands.

Police say the four suspects flew out of the country the day of the killing and are believed to have made their way back to Pyongyang. North Korea has denied any involvement.

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